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Where the Wild Things Are

2010-01-11 15:53
Where the Wild Things Are

What it's about:

After an argument with his mother, Max flees to a faraway place where monsters walk the land. Max becomes the king of the monsters, but finds ruling a band of quarrelling beasties to be more difficult than expected.

What we thought:

It shouldn’t surprise you that, at 101 minutes long, the film version of Where The Wild Things Are adds its own twists, turns and themes to Maurice Sendak’s illustrated masterpiece on which it is based.

What is perhaps unexpected, is that it is not a children’s movie. Not in spirit.

Part live-action, part animated, Where The Wild Things Are follows young Max as he flees his home for a faraway island, where he encounters a troubled band of monsters. Being monsters, the creatures threaten to eat him up, but the quick-thinking child instead convinces them to make him their king. Max succeeds at first in quieting the arguments within the group, but due to some bad decisions, finds himself increasingly alienated from his subjects.

Spike Jonze’s movie poses the question of sadness without offering concrete answers. When Max finds them, the monsters seem to have regressed from a former contentment into a state of depression. Relevant, realistic perhaps, but this is extremely challenging fare for a sensitive younger audience. Instead, the film feels like it's been made for the generations that grew up with, and never outgrew, the vivid fantasy land Max finds himself in. "Everything is beautiful and mysterious here," it seems to say, "so why aren’t you happy yet?"

Max Records, as Max, acts almost entirely through his facial expressions, and squeezes many more than his twelve years of age from the countless frowns and pauses that make up his strong performance. With nowhere near the experience of a Haley Joel Osmont, he can be proud of establishing himself and look forward to an exciting career. James Gandolfini (The Sopranos) also adds to his credit as the voice of Carol, Max’s best friend on the monster island.

You’ll leave the cinema with a funny little knot in your stomach, but the visual beauty of Where The Wild Things Are, and its powerful re-imagining of Sendak’s characters make it worthwhile for mature film buffs who enjoy indulging their imagination.

An adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's story, where Max, a disobedient little boy sent to bed without his supper, creates his own world--a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures that crown Max as their ruler.

Shelly 2010/01/11 1:58 PM
I cannot wait for this!!! I've been holding my breath for it since it was released in the US! Eeeeep!
Lesley 2010/01/18 9:19 AM
what is the age limit?
Shaheema 2010/01/18 9:46 AM
@Lesley: All movie info is in the right-hand column - Age restriction is PG (some Violence)
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