Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Royal Tenenbaums

In The Royal Tenenbaums, bedrooms vividly describe cartoon-like characterizations of Chas, Richie and Margot. The viewer draws generalizations about the characters from the items in their rooms. Margot's room contains dozens of plays, posters of her own productions, and constructions of mini stage sets. She is an artist, writer, a storyteller. Chas's room is absurdly functional, and organized. He is a numbers guy, a businessman. Richie's room is less obvious. His walls are adorned with his portraits of sister Margot. He has a private sleep tent in the middle of his room filled with memorabilia of his times with Margot, and his youth. Though his "genius" is in sports, tennis, specifically, through his bedroom we see that he is a sentimentalist at heart.

A note about Eli's living room (we don't see his bedroom): While the Tenenbaum three are also lost souls with major voids in their lives, Eli is perhaps the most lost of the mid-thirties generation. He spends his adult life, not searching for his true identity, but trying his best to be noteworthy, famous. The extremely bizarre and edgy paintings in his living room represent his desire to seem interesting and "genius" to others.

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