Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Where the Wild Things Are ---- Reviewed

What small thing is the most extraordinary, creative, uncensored, ignorant, imaginative and curious thing on earth? If you listen to Spike Jonze, the director of Where the Wild Things Are, then your answer is bound to be "Children." One child in particular, who goes by the name MAX.

Max is a ferocious individual who craves attention the way any human being does once all that we have learned and all of the layers and social constraints that we have put up have been stripped.

The movie opens with Max in his wolf pajama costume ensemble chasing his pet dog in debatably the best scene of the movie. The way that Max interacts with this animal makes you question which one of them is more of an animal. The gorgeous shaky camera movements entrance you in a way that immediately make you feel as if you are Max, a crucial way to feel for the rest of the movie to resonate.


As the movie progresses Max, just trying to get attention from another human being, picks a snowball fight with his sister's friends. Eventually it gets out of hand and nobody comes to Max's rescue. The common childhood theme of "Nobody Cares" comes into play at this point and Max beings to FLIP OUT.... At everybody.... the last straw being when he actually bites his mother for trying to restrain him and, at that point, he runs away, far away, into the depths of his deepest imagination.

This is where he meets the wild things.. and using his unbelievably skilled sense of manipulation that only a child such as himself could have, he becomes "king" of their colony (of sorts).


Sadly, once he meets up with the Wild Things, the amount of anger and angst (in the wild thing world) is almost overbearing, and there is very little recoup time before another fight breaks out. Sure, this is how real life works, but in the movies, you need a little contrast to keep things fresh. Don't mind me though, that is essentially my only complaint of the movie. So, the wild things help him though his confused role in life, his understanding of how animalistic he is, and finally, they help him understand the finicky elements of comradeship and family.

This film is so beautiful and it is an adventure. I feel like most of this is constructed by the elements that many people overlook when watching a movie/ the smaller or less noticeable elements:

#1. THE SOUNDTRACK IS GORGEOUS. If you haven't yet listened to the song that I posted at the top of the post. CLICK PLAY NOW!!! Karen O. (of Yeah Yeah Yeah's fame) and her wonderful friends have done it again. It encapsulates you in the world of childhood imagination in the most soothing of ways, in much the same way as a lullaby does.

#2. The cinematography- Spike Jonze is a master of his art. Enough said.

#3. The costumes/ CGI/ you find it hard to believe that he didn't actually genetically breed real monsters because they couldn't look more real...

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