Where the Wild Things Are (2009)
Directed by: Spike Jonze
Written by: Dave Eggers, Maurice Sendak, Spike Jonze
Starring: Catherine Keener, Catherine O'Hara, Forest Whitaker, James Gandolfini, Mark Ruffalo, Max Records, Paul Dano, Steve Mouzakis
I always find it strange when people say that your childhood is the most wonderful part of your life. Sure things were noisy, exciting and you had an unspoiled imagination where anything was possible (or maybe that was just me?). Childhood was also scary, unsettling and stressful. I used to have recurring nightmares from the age of around 4-7. These dreams would consist of a screaming witch that used to lurk in my bedroom cupboard, a unspeakable ‘thing’ with burning red eyes that used to dwell under my bed and an oval mirror in our hall that I would never look into when passing due to the demon that would be staring back at me, always smiling. I could go on but to the review.
Where the Wild Things Are (2009) addresses a lot of these fears and more, in one of the most impressive (non) children’s movies I have seen in a long time. Spike Jonze (Being John Malkovich) proves once again that he is perhaps the greatest fantasy director to arrive since Terry Gilliam turned up on the scene with the Python team.
The story follows Max (a brilliant Max Records), a troubled and lonely boy as he clutches for the attention of his mother and sister after losing his father (who has either left them or died?). Frustrated, scared and angry he sails to a far away island where he meets a group of giant beasts and promises that he will ‘make things right again’, if they make him king.
Jonze monster creations are complex, intimidating, vunerable and visibly fantastic. Each one has its own mannerisms and personality but James Gandolfini’s unruly, Carol stands out the most. Perhaps a lot of time is spent on doing what kids like to do most- make a lot of noise, be incredibly silly and smash things up. But are there not days when you wish you could turn back the clock and do all those things again?
Rating: – an almost perfect movie.
[pt-filmtitle]Where the Wild Things Are[/pt-filmtitle]