What kind of bird are you? – on Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom
Fantastic Mr. Fox is one of my favorite movies of all time. I love everything from its whimsy to its color palette, its sarcastic lines to heartfelt animation. When I saw a preview for Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom, I couldn’t wait for it to arrive at my local theatre, where, for one sweet, short week, it would run. Interestingly, the Michigan Theatre is actually a real theatre, where one would expect plays and operas – a gentleman played on an organ while the moviegoers filed in.
Watching the preview for Moonrise Kingdom filled me with a warm, fuzzy feeling, and the movie did not disappoint. All those cute moments are expanded, and there are some more mature moments as well. The script was sharp, the colors and homes were vintage, and the story was sweet. There was also a sense of tension building throughout the movie – we hear within the first few minutes that in three days, one of the worst hurricanes of all time will strike the small island town.
There’s something romantic about escaping into the wild to be with your love, and Moonrise Kingdom certain plucks at some heartstrings with its two young characters so certain of their undying love. Yet, for some reason, I had a hard time believing the world of Moonrise. Did I only like Fantastic Mr. Fox because it was about animals? I do love animals. Somehow, the animation and animal-centered story made it easier for me to fall in love with the characters, to forgive them any quirks that felt a bit too out of place.
It’s not to say that Moonrise was uncomfortable. In fact, it was an extremely pleasant experience. While Moonrise is not exactly a children’s film, it holds a nostalgic flavor of childhood, of simpler times and smaller things. I do wish we had learned more about Sam and Suzy; I feel like too much of the film was filled with all the supporting characters, though all of them did an excellent job. The music was sweet, the scenery was lush, and the kitten was adorable. I also loved little details like the children’s books that Suzy brought and read throughout the movie.
Overall, 4/5 – Moonrise Kingdom is an eccentric tale of young love, stylistically filmed and armed with a witty script. If you watch the trailer and feel happy, then you will enjoy the movie.