Moonrise Kingdom Review


July 22nd, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom by Ivette Fred-Rivera

I loved the movie, I recommend it.

Excellent ambience of the sixties era, great music used as a narrative element adding drama and rhythm, the use of the reading of the letters by Sam (Jared Gilman) and Susy (Kara Hayward) to show how their friendship as pen pals progresses into love in a linear sequence, actually, excellent performances of both, dynamic and unusual camera angles such as the ones seen when two scenes in different places are presented simultaneously because the screen is visually divided in half, and how we spectators identify with the left side of the screen where the good and concerned characters about the welfare of Sam are located because we have already identified ourselves with orphan Sam! (how could we not)? Exquisite composition and use of light. Very careful visual arrangements to advance the plot. I have to say that the detail of the mother's pin placed in Sam's boy scout uniform is really very moving. Director Wes Anderson is definitely very fond of detail.

I want to draw attention to the symbolism in Susy's constant use of binoculars: as she herself explains, 'to be near while being far', and the security that such optical viewpoint provides. With the binoculars placed in her makeup stylish eyes (which gives her a deeper and inquisitive look), she learns at a safe distance about her mother's (Frances McDormand) infidelity with Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis).

A question very present is how one can enrich life through fiction, and how life without fiction is not worth living. At the same time, the need for real life adventures. For example, the geography of the island where Susy and Sam escaped seems both real and imaginary. Issues concerning technology are displayed as well. Do we share Susy and Sams' spirit of adventure with our more advanced technology?

A very interesting and controversial issue: the insinuation of intercourse between Sam and Susy. The director luckily saves us from watching teen sex, we see their French kissing and touching, so issues of child pornography are bypassed completely. Anderson tells us, with a dose of black humor, of course, that is so present throughout the film, that Sam is already an adult when Captain Sharp offers to him a plate of sausage for dinner in his dining table, and he has none. Captain Sharp tells him that he's more intelligent than most people including himself. He ends up being abandoned by Susy's mother; Susy marries Sam. The guy who marries them looks gay, so another outsider is in.

Being a 'misfit' is a matter of degrees, even Captain Sharp is very lonely despite being the captain. The film is about people of different ages, youth, children, adults. It is very well done. Because it gets you to think, of being more tolerant of differences so we can integrate better collectively.

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