Movie & DVD Reviews
"Moonrise Kingdom" Portrays a Simpler Time With an Artistic Flair
The year is 1965 and a remote North Eastern coastal community is plunged into confusion when it discovers that two kids have run away. Sam, a discontented Khaki Scout, and Suzy, a put-upon older sister and forgotten daughter, abscond into the forest to escape their dissatisfying existences. The responsible adults - Samís Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) and Suzyís parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) - and the entire town set out on a frenzied search, which gets wild when the largest storm in recorded history touches down and puts everyoneís life into question. What ensues is a battle between youth and age, hope and disillusionment, faith and cynicism.
In terms of story and character, Wes Andersonís previous films, especially The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited, are superior. Even in the most compelling relationship in the film between Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) and Sam doesnít embody Andersonís ability to take his characters into deep emotional places of hurt and healing without melodrama. However, the newest addition to the Anderson canon is a cinematic experience.
Moonrise Kingdomís story, co-written with Roman Coppola, takes a definite backseat to style, as Anderson saturates the entire film with a ďNorman Rockwell-type of AmericanaĒ. Stylistically, it may be Andersonís most masterful work, as the costumes, sets, and settings transport the viewer to an alternate universe, a place of wonder and adventure. The soundtrack is especially effective, as it recalls a time when things were simpler: Hank Williams was on the radio, and children listened to records instead of playing video games. However, Anderson isnít content with reminiscing about the year 1965. He takes this nostalgia and twists it, infusing the film with a twinge of sadness through the reality of lifeís disappointments. He doesnít reject the Rockwellian view of America, but argues that it doesnít tell the whole story.
Moonrise Kingdom is that place of beauty and passion that we all have been in at least once in our lives - the one place on earth where we believe that anything is possible. It has since been lost, but it persists in our memories in moments of nostalgia.
Parents, you may not approve of the way the younger characters behave, which may cause you to keep your kids away from. But keep in mind that your kids most likely behave exactly like this when you're not looking.
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