Title: Moonrise Kingdom
Genre: Comedy, Romance
Director: Wes Anderson
My fourth Wes Anderson film, a 2D cinema-going, the previous three are THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS (2001), THE LIFE AQUATIC WITH STEVE ZISSOU (2004) and THE DARJEELING LIMITED (2007).
With its burgeoning domestic box-office performance (a $38.8M by last week, only second to THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS, which cashed in around 52M in the whole run), MOONRISE KINGDOM has a chance to be elevated into the weighty consideration as the BEST PICTURE contender in the Oscar race for the first time for Mr. Anderson, and a more potent edge is that it has gathered his idiosyncratic innovative creativity and incubates it with a fairly engaging story, therefore it can be conceived as his most developed and fully grown work to date.
Apart from Anderson’s regular troupe (Murray and Schwartzman), newcomers here are copious with Hollywood renowned names, Willis, Norton, McDormand, Swinton, Keitel and Balaban. But they are merely screen foils, the film revolves around a teenager duo, Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, as the premature elopers. The storyline is nothing particularly extraordinary, it is Anderson’s paradigmatic trump cards, the simplistic design, colourful costumes plus a generally reddish palette, the distinctive horizon-and-vertical moving shots cum a fast-paced editing, the unorthodox charisma of its characters (a poke-faced Kara is an inward-distraught rebel while a nerd-looking Jared is a boldly underage adventurer), all above are propelling the film as the slipstream through its cerebrally entertaining and visually bombarding ride with prudence and detailed quirkiness.
In the film, the adult characters are mainly sidelined and mockingly immature, juxtaposed with our young-but-steady runaways, the disparity could not be more overt. But the film is more than a modern fairytale, its sleek and trendy predisposition has an innate crowd-pleasing trait, especially at this time, all the fantasies and puppy love stories have been marred by violence (the ubiquitous bullies) and darkness (Tim Burton needs to burn more cash and vampires need love too since undead is boring), Anderson’s children-like temperament may find a fertile soil to bloom, arguable, killing a doggie and struck by thunder are appropriate to the pre-teen audience, but what the hell anyway, his territory is always open to adults who linger with a ingenuous heart.