Moonrise Kingdom Reviews
The cast for this film is excellent with new and old faces and they all give excellent performances, especially the two young leads, which is obviously good as they are the primary focus of the film and the success of the film rides on their shoulders. This is to be expected though as Wes Anderson really knows how to work with actors. The characters were all great with some actors, like Willis and Norton, playing against type and it was fun to see, they are all written excellently well, for the most part, with Willis' character in particular being the standout with making me feel sad for him. I say for the most part because I really couldn't grasp where Murray's character was coming from; Murray does typically excellent work but when his character is proposed a rhetorical question about their daughter running away, his initial reaction isn't to be worried like the mother is, it's to make a witty remark. That might be his schtick as well as to show how much he doesn't care about the situation around him, while it was still funny, it felt a little weird. The Narrator seemed like an odd addition as he's just in a handful of scenes but his entity grows stranger the longer it goes on, he seems just as a character for us, given his name, but he randomly comes out of nowhere at one to interact with our characters. Also, I thought I saw Owen Wilson at one point but he wasn't in this film, weirdly.
The story is told in a slightly non-linear way at first, which was creative and worked but the way our characters meet each other seems kind of random and coincidental. Besides that, the girl sitting on the right next to Suzy seemed weird, she was fine when she thought that Sam was just asking what they all were but then said that no boys were allowed when Sam said he was just talking to Suzy. I'm also kind of surprised the other characters didn't see that hole in the tent, it wasn't even like the other side of the material covering up the hole was painted or anything, you'd think anyone would have already seen it by now, but the hole wasn't visible on the outside! I also felt sorry for that Turtle that Sam just threw back in. Suzy bringing that cat seemed like she didn't really think it through, despite the family would clearly notice both them gone, what would she do when the food ran out? You'd also have thought they would have made an effort to get away from those boys coming after them, from the way Sam was hiding it looked like they would be hidden from them but clearly not and of course because they don't like him, they're going to turn him in! It seemed odd seeing Norton's character smoking given where he was, but hey. I thought they would have zoomed into the picture at the end to line it up directly with the real life location but that didn't happen and would the term 'nudes' be around in 1965?
Everything on the technical side is excellent. The cinematography is gorgeous and glides across the screen so naturally, everything is staged perfectly, the colours are so rich but at the same time seem muted to fit in with the nature and it just feels warm. The pace was unbelievable, I loved this so much that it felt like no time had passed at all, I couldn't believe it when it finished. The film has a typically unique style and with this film it is the use of letters as well as the font of the film, it's beautiful. The CGI in the film is noticeable, it isn't bad but it's used in such a way where you can notice it when it is used and Anderson puts his own spin on it. Explosions are used a few times and like I have said in the past, perhaps because I have used too much green screen but one or two of the explosions didn't look the best, but I'm aware the budget was quite small and it was excellently spent in every other department. Alexandre Desplat works with Wes Anderson again and this soundtrack is absolutely amazing. However, there was one point where it seemed too loud and, while that isn't his fault, it made one audio line quiet, although it did seem like in that scene in particular it didn't matter that it was loud because it didn't seem like a scene where we had to necessarily hear the line, 'follow me' as it was one of those film scenes where music is used to cover a journey, even if it only happened for that one line.
This is a very unique film, it left me smiling and happy, but there was also a hint of sadness in there. It is a smart and emotional film with deep themes and really leaves you thinking about it after everything is said and done. When the last shot of this film appeared, coupled with the music and what came just before it, I just had such a huge smile. This film is magical and totally memorable; 'Moonrise Kingdom' is an absolute delight.
Everything else about 'Kingdom' is what you'd expect from Anderson: an offbeat score, crazy cinematography and lots of frowns to go around. True, there's a depressed sentiment throughout 'Kingdom,' but the sarcasm and irony that also permeate the dialogue and the actions that happen throughout the movie. And yes, some of the nonsense that takes place is hard to ignore (including lightning strikes, exploding cabins and "dog murdering," but these are not out of character, all things considered. As for the humor, it's not the kind that you'd find in an Adam Sandler movie, but that's what makes it great, as there a lot of tongue-in-cheek references and intelligent, subtle jokes.
At it's conclusion, 'Moonrise Kingdom' could leave a bad taste in audiences' mouths, but that's likely because they are not fans of Anderson and his unorthodox style.