25 nov. 2012

My Review: Moonrise Kingdom (9/10)

¨We're in love. We just want to be together. What's wrong with that? ¨

You either love Wes Anderson movies or you hate them. I am on the loving side since I always find his movies to be hysterical and original. Moonrise Kingdom is a great film with some pretty interesting performances as well. It has been five years since Anderson directed a feature film (that wasn`t animated) and the wait is finally over. His last film, The Darjeeling Limited, came out in 2007 and it was a very funny movie, but Moonrise Kingdom is superior in my opinion. I wouldn’t say Moonrise Kingdom is Wes Anderson´s best work but I know fans of his defer on what their favorite movie of his is. Some enjoy his first film, Bottle Rocket the most; but others have found Rushmore to be his best work. I still think The Royal Tenenbaums is his best film, and it probably has to do with it being the first film of his that I watched. Fans of Wes Anderson probably would agree with me that the first film of his that they watched is their favorite one because of the originality and inventiveness of his style. He has unique trademarks which he uses for all of his films so you probably could recognize his work in the first minute of the movie. His films always seem to deal with some sort of broken family issue where the children don’t get along with their parents or are being raised by a single parent. He also uses a lot of color in his films; yellow, green and red predominate. Anderson makes very personal films and sometimes his movies seem to repeat themselves, but he has a unique style that separates his work from other Hollywood comedies. The central theme of his movies are always quirky and bizarre, but in a good way. Moonrise Kingdom is in my opinion his most romantic work.

The story is set on the small island of New Penzance off the coast of New England in 1965, a few days before a big storm is to arrive. Walt (Bill Murray) and Laura Bishop (Frances McDormand) live on the island with their three sons and daughter named Suzy (Kara Hayward). Suzy is very troubled; she doesn’t get along with her parents and doesn’t have many friends. She befriends a young scout named Sam (Jared Gilman) who is at the other side of the island in a summer camp. Sam decides to escape from camp, meet up with Suzy secretly, with whom he`s been corresponding through letters, and run off together. Scout Master Randy (Edward Norton) discovers that Sam has escaped from camp and decides to send the rest of the scouts on a search hunt. He also notifies Police Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) about the escape and the Captain connects the disappearance of both children and concludes that they have run off together. While Suzy and Sam hike and set camp together while fleeing from the search party they fall in love with each other. The Captain discovers that Sam is really an orphan and that his foster parents won`t accept him back so he has to notify Social Services (Tilda Swinton) about the incident. Sam and Suzy will do what it takes to stay together and not be found, while the entire town begins searching for them.

Once again Wes Anderson works alongside Bill Murray and his cousin Jason Schwartzman who has a small role in this film. He`s worked with them in almost all of his films, but the difference here in Moonrise Kingdom is that the true stars of the film are the kid actors: Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. Hayward reminded me a lot of Gwyneth Paltrow in The Royal Tenenbaums. They are great in this movie and had a lot of chemistry together. Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, and Edward Norton also give the film a funny and quirky touch to it. Wes Anderson`s trademarks are all over this film and the tone is similar to the others, but it also has some touches that differentiate it from his other works. Having the kids be the stars of the film is a first for him, and the film does have a romantic touch to it despite maintaining a depressive mood throughout. As always Wes Anderson wrote the screenplay for his film, although this time he co-wrote it with Roman Coppola who had worked with him in The Darjeeling Limited as well. His first films were co-written along with Owen Wilson, and Noah Baumbach has also worked with him in a couple of projects as well. His screenplays are always full of quirky humor and bizarre scenarios. That is one of the reasons I love his movies so much. Moonrise Kingdom is a film that Wes Anderson fans will enjoy quite a bit.

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