By his barefaced, shameless, relentless insistence upon it, until it produces the effect of being stuffed, of having seen too much and with the rattling pace of deadpan dialogues, having heard too much.
With his latest short film The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar, — one of four, including The Swan, The Rat Catcher, and Poison — he pulls this lever of speed, of artifice, so hard, he breaks it.
Which was at first done by Dahl, switches to Sugar, and then, switches again. And again. Till subjectivity, the very question of whose story this is about, sounds silly.
With respect to the film’s relation to the text itself, it is not just about Bombay becoming Calcutta, but also, in the fracas around Roald Dahl’s legacy of offensive prose, Anderson has stepped in as conscience bearer.
Who kept referring to Imdad Khan as the “Indian”. In the film, he is always called by his name, insisting on his personhood — Imdad Khan, not just an “Indian”.