Moonrise Kingdom: Movie Review

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I’m not sure how successful a movie directed by any other director other than Wes Anderson would be when the two main characters are 12 year olds. But Moonrise Kingdom was executed (really) well, and the film was surprisingly mature, despite the age of the characters.

Moonrise Kingdom, set in the 1960s, is a story of the love between Sam Shukusky and Suzy Bishop, two misfit runaways that found maturity at an early age. These pen pals agreed upon a runaway plan after meeting each other for a brief moment the previous year at a church performance.

Sam, an orphan and escapee from scouting camp, and Suzy, a ‘troubled child’ living with a dysfunctional family, leave to a secret cove on an island after an exchange of letters. Suzy’s parents, the police, and Sam’s scouting counselor all search to find them out of natural fear, and finally reach them.

In an interview Terry Gross did with Anderson, the director said he wanted the movie to have a “storybook” feel. And it definitely does.

Each shot is filmed in an entirely unique way compared to what is traditionally done in film. The frames “break the rules of photography” by placing subjects in the dead center, or sometimes hardly visible in the corners.

The “vintage” finish it has (soft hues) isn’t overly severe or something too reminiscent of a bad Instagram photo. Colors work well to add to the setting. The look of it all is subtle and compliments the story.

The plot itself, unrealistic, quick and playful, is supposed to not be taken too seriously. The love between the two children doesn’t try too hard and isn’t forced. Audiences can recognize that it isn’t SUPPOSED TO BE EXACTLY HOW 12 YEAR OLDS ACT. Because I’m not sure I know a 12 year old that paints landscapes (and occasionally nudes.)

Visual effects that usually are used to make the film appear more lifelike are used in an almost comical manner in ‘Moonrise.’ Occasional lightning strikes and explosions don’t cheapen the film because they aren’t meant to look real.

‘Moonrise,’ a light and witty film of a non-traditional love is a perfect summer flick. Its subjects are genuine, funny and provide for excellent story-telling.

Rating: 9/10

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