Saturday, June 30, 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

Notice how they in front of a picture.
This is typical of the humor in the film. 
Plot: Sam (Jared Gilman) escapes from scout camp to meet up with Suzy (Kara Hayward) and together they run away to camp out in the woods. The Sheriff (Bruce Willis), Scoutmaster (Edward Norton), and Suzy's parents (Bill Murray & Frances McDormand) get together with the remaining scouts to search for them. Sam and Suzy are both social misfits who connect in the wilderness. [imdb link]    [photos]

Review: Moonrise Kingdom is absurdist comedy -- campy, satirical, and ridiculous. It is funny because it is ridiculous. Suzy and Sam watch as ridiculousness spins around them. 

Everyone in the movie plays with deadpan earnestness -- different from a sitcom where people act out.  Only Suzy is able to see how silly her situation is. In the end, the audience is suppose to think how ridiculous their lives are.

The adult characters seem like they have back-stories, but they aren't given enough screen time to develop themselves. Generally, the adults provide a back-drop for the kids.

Director Wes Anderson films are all absurdist, existentialist humor. Moonrise Kingdom is more purely absurd than Fantastic Mr Fox, Darjeeling Limited and Life Aquatic. Moonrise Kingdom had more sweetness and emotion than the others. Life Aquatic had the most plot and was the strangest and funniest. Darjeeling Limited had an Ayn Rand political twist that I didn't like. The animated Fantastic Mr Fox was the most entertaining.

In summary, Moonrise Kingdom was always interesting and engaging.  It was fun, occasionally funny.

Cast: Kara Hayward, Jared Gilman, Edward Norton with Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, and Tilda Swinton. 

Written and directed by: Wes Anderson; the humor is similar to other Anderson films. The similarity to the other films makes this seem less fresh. 

Rating:   2.75 stars: Fun, but not super-fun. Interesting, but ultimately without a message beyond the absurdness of life. 
 and 3/4
More: The Narrator (Bob Balaban) is dressed like a traveling gnome, and shows up with silly facts about the island.