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Tanya Khoury: A refreshing joy
July 06, 2012
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Joy to the world as Wes Anderson is back with Moonrise Kingdom and it has been quite a while, 2009 to be exact. Fantastic Mr. Fox was the last film that I had seen, an animation very fitting to Anderson’s style and before I begin stating my opinion on the film, director and the complete package, please be aware that I am completely and utterly biased to Anderson’s work come what may. Keeping in mind that his following has not been very popular around here, his last feature barely made it the theatres and when it did it was out in no time. This latest movie is only playing in particular theatres so please do take advantage of that before it’s too late!

As with most Anderson films, the cast tends to be someone you had seen in past film of his, the ever so charming Bill Murray makes his way into this one, along with regular Jason Shwartzman and the welcomed additions: Edward Norton, Frances McDormand and Bruce Willis. The two new faces that make up the main synopsis are Suzy and Sam played by Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward. To think that this was the first major project for both of these actors, you would have felt a little hesitation and immaturity in their performances. Anderson knows how to pick them though, along with the rest of the ‘kids’ cast they portrayed the story with such charm and wit it was a refreshing joy.

The story is set in the 60’s and with that so is the backdrop, true to his formats Anderson presents the film with the quirky narrator (Bob Balaban) stating exactly what is going to happen in an overly obvious yet strangely charming manner. There are many characters involved but the main premise is a love story between young teenagers, boy scout Sam and misunderstood Suzy are all set and prepared to runaway together and lead a life away from their homes somewhere away from the current island they are all in.

The beauty of the story as well as the filming is the different emotions they convey, as this is set in the 60’s the cinematography takes us back to a picturesque setting as you would find in a novel written by a young writer about an adventure. The backdrops and the colours are very fitting to that of an island adventure in the past, where it was a lot simpler and more to the likes of an old postcard. The characters surrounding the fate of the young lovers are all young scouts that hide no emotions, as we progress throughout the different scenes you find that these kids show rage, affection, and love in the most stripped down view. There is no grey area they say what they want and show exactly what they feel. 

In addition to the love story and the scouts’ adventure, I felt Norton’s character was the most endearing, as the scout master he was genuinely worried about the entire debacle (I will not give up any spoilers, I am an advocate of Anderson’s films and you must see them) and taking his scout job seriously meant the world to him. Murray and McDormand playing the out of love parents also adds to the melancholy of the picture but not in an extremely depressing sort of way. Moonrise Kingdom showcases the innocence of childhood and the natural faultiness of adults with eccentric characters and sharp dialogue who wouldn’t enjoy that kind of entertainment. I hope more people do end up seeing this film I know I will more than once. 8.9/10

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