Moonrise Kingdom - Film ReviewWritten by administrator
Wes Anderson has a reputation for slightly surrealistic touches in his directorial style. Moonrise Kingdom, the director's most eccentric film to date, will give fans and detractors alike cause to rejoice: the former because of the full-blown Andersonian flourishes that suffuse the work, the latter because they'll be able to flame it as cloyingly precious.
Moonrise Kingdom is set in 1965, and follows the story of two misfits who find a deep connection in their outsider status, fall in love, and decide to run away. Sounds like a typical romance, only thing being that the pair consist of two 12 year-olds: orphan Khaki Scout Sam (Jared Gilman) and MPDG-in-training Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward), who has a penchant for binoculars and a pretty nasty temper. The elopement of Suzy and Sam sets off a series of slightly surreal events: a manhunt by a motley crew of Khaki Scouts and Suzy's parents, awkward dancing leading to a perfectly uncomfortable make-out scenes, and shenanigans atop a church steeple.
The genius of Moonrise Kingdom lies in the fact that Anderson has managed to create a world that has absolutely no grounding in banal reality, but yet possess an emotional authenticity that surpasses the most realistically crafted biopic. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward suffuse their roles with precocious whimsy, and the supporting cast are likewise immaculate in their portrayal of damaged grown-ups, with Edward Norton as an ineffectual Boy Scout troop leader, Bill Murray as a repressed, legalistic dad, and Bruce Willis as down and out police captain Sharp. These performances add a much-needed edge of sadness to Anderson's absurdist style, and add grounding to what would otherwise have merely been a fractured fairytale.
The film itself is shot in a yellow-tinged, vintage film style that suits the time period, and Anderson showcases his ability to craft images of surrealistic beauty from the taken-for-granted everyday, and to make strange the familiar period details of vinyl records and old-school telephones.
Part fairy-tale, part quirky satire, part ode to innocence, Moonrise Kingdom is an enclosed fiefdom that not everyone will be able to enter into, depending on their mode of apprehension. For those who do, however, the result is likely to be magical.
Summary: A smart, charming fairytale that may be too quirky for some.
Rating: 4 out of 5