Where the Wild Things Are
2 STARS – SATISFACTORY
It’s hard to figure out where to start with director Spike Jonze’s latest movie, Where the Wild Things Are.The popular children’s picture book by Maurice Sendak was advertised extremely well and reviewed extremelyell, but the overall result shows how advertisements can trick you. A film based off of a 37 page book of mostly pictures is going to have a lot of new ideas added, and the result is usually poor. Max (Max Records), a wild and lonely boy, runs away from home to find an island of giant animals called the Wild Things; all with specific names. The story of the film is so complex in dealing with the Wild Things themselves, and many of the ideas are so child-like. The film is aimed towards kids, but the movie shifts from a kid-like appearance to a film that would no doubt be horrifying and strange to little children. I give the director credit though, of making this movie appealing to many adults and giving us a film based on childhood. To polish off the story, there are feel-good moments, touching moments, and humorous moments mixed together. The acting is borderline good, and the cast is made of a group of non iconic actors. The most disappointing part about this film (along with the story) is the sloppiness of the cinematography. Many of the scenes feature shaky camera movements similar to hand-held camera films like Cloverfield (2008) and Slumdog Millionaire (2008). The art direction, however, is incredible. One particular scene is when Carol (a Wild Thing) shows a large model made of sticks and stones to Max; it is Carol’s dream world of peace, and my favorite scene in the movie. Last but not least, we have the musical score (composed by Carter Burwell). In some parts the songs excellently fit the scene, in other parts, horribly; enough said. It’s very difficult to write a one sentence conclusion on Where the Wild Things Are because there is so much in it, but I would say that it is a complicated and confusing movie with brief entertaining parts, and non conclusive ending.
*Max (Max Records) joins Carol (James Gandolfini) on the beach for an emotional scene of Carol’s sadness*