Topics: The Royal Tenenbaums, Wes Anderson, Owen Wilson Pages: 5 (1883 words) Published: May 21, 2013
People often comment that life is a journey filled with difficulties, obstacles, challenges, and joys, and it is how a person deals with their life’s challenges that makes them strong and unique human-beings. Wes Anderson, the director of The Royal Tenenbaums (2001), understands about life’s hardships with all its up and down challenges. He also knows about hidden strength and the human ability to overcome insurmountable difficulties when one has the faith and courage to live life positively. The leading character in Anderson’s movie, Royal Tenenbaum, is the character who undergoes a life altering experience, an epiphany, and comes out at the end of the movie as a new and different person, one who now has empathy for other people, even his own family. The only character in the movie who openly expresses his opinion of Royal is Chas, Royal’s eldest son, who is also going through his own life altering experience. When a person has a series of set-backs or negative events and they reach a place they feel is “rock bottom”, they hopefully realize this and understand their situation; possibly they may regret the faults and mistakes they have made earlier; then if they are strong they struggle to find the courage to change, and if they are lucky even reverse some of their former terrible mistakes. At the beginning of the movie, Royal is presented as a selfish, self-centred, self-absorbed and even corrupt individual who unfortunately is a father of three grown children; while Chas, his eldest son, is completely the opposite as he is presented as a serious, smart, and hardworking individual; both of these men experience a life altering situation. Royal has reach “rock bottom” but has brought his own troubles upon himself, while Chas, through no fault of his own, has to accept his emotional “rock bottom” fate and cope with life’s tragedies. When his business fails Royal has to face some hard facts, he feels like a personal and social failure because he realizes he has no friends, and his family does not want to know he even exists; this is a very difficult truth to face for any person, to feel that they have lost the love and respect of those who are supposed to be their nearest and dearest. He takes the initiative to contact his family members, at first when he hears of the remarriage of his former wife Ethel. Royal lies to get their pity and understanding, knowing that he has not earned it. Royal does not really understand his situation in a positive way; he is corrupt and this is discovered by his family, who have believed his lies. Royal tries to explain when he says, “Look. I know I’m the bad guy on this one, but I just want to say that the last six days have been the best six days of, probably, my whole life.” Royal is not a very nice human-being because he sees nothing wrong with using people. While Chas, on the other hand, is nothing like his father; he is intelligent and has matured at an early age. He was always interested in business and a great deal of his education was done at home by his mother Ethel. He is the most successful among the three siblings as he is a genius in international finance. Over the history of the family, Chas sued his father twice and had him disbarred because of the ‘bonds’ his father stole from Chas’ safe deposit box, when Chas was fourteen. Furthermore, Chas has been constantly in conflict with his father since childhood, ever since Royal shot a BB gun between Chas` knuckles, Chas at the time, asks his father, “What are you doing? We are on the same team!” Royal replies, “there are no teams” as he wants to let Chas know he must be independent from an early age, in other words he is on his own. This is a very symbolic event in both their lives as it represents an issue of trust between father and son that is never resolved. It can clearly be seen that there is a contrast between the two men; Royal is selfish, inconsiderate, and uses his family; he has always made negative comments about...
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