Monday, October 19, 2009

Where The Wild Things Are Review

Since the first trailer came out way back when, I have been psyched about Where The Wild Things Are. Something about it reminded me of those movies when you were younger that were magical and adventurous and fun. I really thought Where The Wild Things Are was going to be something like that, mixed with modern special effects and great direction. But when I saw it the other night, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn’t.

Where The Wild Things Are is not a kid’s movie at all. I heard one little kid in the back of the theater that didn’t seem very happy and that was it. The rest of the audience was 20’s - 40’s. And we all loved it, all 24 of us.

I don’t really want to ruin anything for anyone who has yet to see this inspiring film, so I’ll skate around the details but Spike Jonze has created a touching and innocent film that is for the young kid in all of us. Honestly I don’t think kids will even get the movie let alone sit through it without being scared.

Max is a confused kid, looking for friends and fun. One night of poor judgment sends Max running off into the woods where he finds a boat that takes him across the sea to his metaphoric journey. Max finds in the wild things – played wonderfully by the likes of James Gandolfini, Forest Whitaker, Catherine O’Hara, and Chris Cooper to name a few – pieces of himself. The happy, the sad, the angry, and the lonely. They are looking for something just as much as he is but they are too confused to know what it is. Instead rough fun and building forts is exchanged for frustration and sadness.

The visuals, the costumes, the scenery, and the special effects are absolutely gorgeous. It blends so completely that everything feels authentic and right. Not once did I say that looks fake. I was always in the world of the film and I never wanted me or Max to leave.

The dialogue and the humor are all childish but not in the sense that you might think. It isn’t childish humor, it is childish meaning they sound like kids. They are gullible, naive, testy, and quick to forgive. This hits home for all adults who can look back in retrospect and see in the wild things parts of themselves. We can see how trivia the things were thought were so important or upsetting. We are the wild things and they are Max and watching them have fun brings back all the nostalgic feelings of innocent childhood anyone could ever hope for.

I loved this film, but not for the reasons I thought I would. I love it because it made me a kid again. It that 100 minutes I had fun, I cried, I laughed, and I made friends. For that it what childhood is all about, having fun with friends. You’ll laugh and have fun and when things go wrong you are quick to forgive.

If you liked being a kid, go see this movie. If not, you probably don’t have a heart.

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