Movie Review: Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Facing the hurricane

Picturenose warmly welcomes our latest recruit, US-born Brussels resident Zoe-Deluca Hewetson, who offers her thoughts on Wes Anderson‘s latest.

When going to see a movie you expect a mostly generic plot, a beginning, some tension, a middle, some heightened tension and an end. Or at least I find myself expecting this – if I keep my standards low I generally tend to be surprised with how mediocre a movie can be. There are very few directors out there that have managed to get my spirits high and fulfill all my hopes and dreams I’ve had for their movies, but Wes Anderson happens to be one of those. In his most recent film, Moonrise Kingdom (2012), he manages to capture a 1960s young romance with all the complications that life may throw at us, including a hurricane, which symbolizes all of the tension and struggles that each of the characters seems to face.

The protagonists Suzy and Sam, played by Kara Hayward and Gared Gilman, are two troubled young kids who don’t have a stable home life. Through a series of events they write to each other, meet, fall in love, and decide to run away together because no one else understands them. Well of course the authorities, parents, and the local kaki scouts (boy scouts) get involved to try to save the kids from the hurricane that’s about to hit. As the story pans out, it is made clear that there is an emotionally painful love triangle between Captain Sharp (a local police captain who’s in love with Laura bishop), Walt Bishop, and Laura Bishop, played by Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, and Frances McDormand respectively. Laura and Walt, the parents of Suzy, are a couple who are having a rough time – Laura has decided to have an affair with Captain Sharp.

The storm hits, and all the pain, angst and true feelings of the characters are expressed. You see the raw emotions and sadness, but mostly you see courage. Every character realizes his or her role in life, and even if they aren’t happy, they come to learn that perseverance leads to another chance. The movie also leaves us with a moral; we’re stronger together.

Even if you think that this doesn’t sound like a film you would enjoy, it still derserves to be watched for the art direction alone. Everything is spot on – visually stimulating from start to finish. However, there is some kitsch to the film but I really do think that this almost amplifies its meaning, and it is not completely camp, rather a cleverly amusing kind of tackiness.

Not mentioning the A-listers in the film would be ridiculous. There’s Willis, Murray and McDormand for sure, but also Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Harvey Keitel, and Neal Huff. Anyone who wants experience a movie that actually makes you feel something more than relative surprise at mediocrity should be advised to go see.

94 mins.

One thought on “Movie Review: Moonrise Kingdom (2012)”

  1. I agree with Zoe, only I would put it in a more simplistic way: ‘I enjoyed the movie.’ :-) I find your review spot on. Too bad the film did not receive wider distribution or publicity.

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