A sweet and smart story about the age of innocence and the growing up one needs to go through to step into adulthood.
OVERALL SCORE – 4/5
Moonrise Kingdom is a 2012 drama film directed by Wes Anderson, written by Wes Anderson and Roman Coppola and stars Jared Gilman, Kara Hayward, Bruce Willis, Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Frances McDormand, Bob Balaban, Harvey Keitel and Jason Schwartzman. The film portrays a tender love story between a boy and girl who are both 12 years old.
Moonrise Kingdom is a very beautiful film. Wes Anderson’s extremely specific style is at display here. His framing, shot composition, character ticks, color palette and visual storytelling are all on point and add to the film’s unique feel. Every frame looks and feels like a painting and the refreshing method with which the story is told serves the purpose of making the film a piece of art the audience will remember for a long time to come.
The real star of the film is the story and the way it unfolds. The story is a tender one about two 12-year-old children who are in love. The film does not patronize the children. It treats them and their emotions with the nuance and respect they deserve. The story reveals itself to the audience with moments of visual flair which include split screens, stylish flashbacks, smart dialogue, moments of innocence, moments of complex thought and set pieces which can be inserted into the best romance films of all time. The child actors are infuriatingly good at their roles and they are directed to perfection. There are a few scenes which may make an adult audience member uncomfortable but then again those scenes are weird for an adult looking in but not for the two characters in the scene. These moments of honesty are what make the relationship between the characters more believable.
The secondary characters are surprisingly well-developed with specific character ticks and subtle moments of character offered to them in the background. The intelligence used here combined with film-making brilliance is what makes the film more enjoyable to the eagle-eyed audience member. The score by Alexandre Desplat rises from being a smooth number, building in intensity to a crescendo by the end of the film.
There is very little one can write about the film’s plot without spoiling the film wholly for the audience. There is a lot one can write about the film-making on display but I might be at risk of boring the reader to tears by heaping a multitude of praise on moments which disappear within a few frames. The film completely subverts the language most romance films use and creates a dialect of its own by the moment the end credits roll. The subtle way the film displays the loss of innocence might be my favorite scene of the movie.
The film has a lot going on in its background and foreground and it might take a few viewings to unpack all of it. Wes Anderson makes one clever decision with his presentation and gets the main theme across with aplomb. It promises to be a satisfying experience to viewers who are looking for a gentle romantic comedy but for other set of viewers looking for subtext and moments of brilliant film-making, this film will end up being a smorgasbord of scenes to appreciate.
OVERALL SCORE – 4/5