Moonrise Kingdom – 4/5 Movie Reviews by Ry!

Moonrise Kingdom – 4/5 – Wes Anderson films; they are one of the most unique an insightful films you will ever watch.  One thing that comes with his catalog is that you have to be in the right mood to watch a Wes Anderson film.  I say this because his films are so specific in its creative feel, if you’re expecting a typical action, suspense or dramatic movie, you will be disappointed.  Anderson’s films take a lot more of ‘relaxing your mind’ kind of awareness as well as following themes with unique or outrageous characters.  Moonrise Kingdom is no exception to this rule.  From its simple themes to its outstanding character performances, it is truly a marvel of an indie movie to watch.

This film takes place on an island off the coast of New England during the 1960s.  The story follows a young boy and girl who fall in love with each other.  In this love, they decided that they want to move and run away together.  During the escape, various factions of the town mobilized to search for them, and along the way we learn the virtues of true love may not always be the worst thing in the world, even at a young age.  First, let me start off that this movie is very strong in character performances.  From Bruce Willis to Bill Murray, there are so many names in this movie, that everything could be blurred by big name actors/actress.  This is not the case, because the film is held by the most unknown actors/actress, who are the main focus of the movie.  This would be the young Boy Scout, Sam (Jared Gilman) and an awkward young girl, Suzy (Kara Hayward).  Sam and Suzy fall in love from the first time they meet at a church function.  What draws them to each other is they both have an awkward and dark past.  In this dark feeling, they both see a reason to leave and just be free of the current place they live in.  There unique relationship is very pure and innocence.  In this purity, you think about the true meaning of love, as well as the inner escapism of being a child/young teenager.  The warmth that you feel is so surreal, that it brings a raw and real feeling for you towards this film.  This is a great reflection of how these two young people are ahead in their craft of acting as they perform well in their interactions together.  They show that kids can have real feeling, and that perception is always keen to knowing what the truth is about learning who someone is.  Beyond these two, there is a stellar supporting cast.  As mentioned earlier, this film is littered with many names.   Along with Willis and Murray, you have known celebrities like Frances Mcdormand, TIlda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman and Edward Norton to name a few.  Being side characters could be a detterant to not showing all acting talent, but even though they are in supporting roles, they are all unique and wonderous in this film.  Each of them, instead of being usual plot devices, has a purpose to the story.  This is very fulfilling and helps develop what each character means to the film.  Along with the main plot, they each have a side story that revolves around the outcome of the young couple’s love.  This adds intellectual depth as the stories have to weave into one cohesive meaning, and it is a joy to see the outcome.

With his directing style, Anderson leaves the story to be developed through the wits and charms of the characters.  In doing a film this way, he leaves the audience to connect the dots and bring the single theme into one flowing river, as well as letting them add depth of each character.  This adds an intuitive layer to the movie because it relies on the audience to find the funny and charming moments, as well as level with the realism that can be seen when the film adds dark tones to the comedic elements.  This style shows strength and weakness to the film.  For all the highs that is experienced through, it does give some lows.  You will come to points where the film drags or even stops in being emotionally involved.  Even for these drawbacks, it eventually kicks back in when the focus of the young couple is brought forward to a main focal point.  By the climax, you are still drawn to the aspect of the tender love, and want nothing more than their happiness, even with the world against them.

The atmosphere is created by the characters, so there isn’t any overall usage of cinematography.  It is filmed on an island, but other than that, nothing in the environment strike you with an awe capturing moments.  The score, on the other hand, helps strike emotions when the timing is good, and helps bring a stoic feel when people are interacting with each other.  The music helps add to the characterization of the film, and makes the most important moments feel like they are really important.

Overall, Moonrise Kingdom is an overly joyful, dark and resounding triumph of a movie.  It helps add intellect to the simple, and bring themes of purity to characters that have scars.  Even for its slow moments, it still entertains from beginning to end.  This is a treat for fans of Wes Anderson films, and would recommend as a Blu Ray purchase.


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