There was a movie I watched a countless number of times when I was younger called Melody, it was about two school children who fell in love with each other, ran away and got married. It was a sweet movie, but sadly I haven’t seen it in quite some time, the music was great, as most, if not all of it was done by The B Gees. Anyway, long story short, I loved this movie, I haven’t seen it in a long time but I definitely recommend checking it out for anyone. The movie I’m reviewing today is a lot like Melody, a little more quirky, as is Wes Anderson’s style, but it has the same basic idea around it. Moonrise Kingdom is another movie where I was able to get my hands on some prescreening tickets, and I’m very glad I got the chance to see it.
When I first saw the trailer for Moonrise Kingdom I wasn’t sure how I felt about it, it looked potentially interesting but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to see it, the more I saw the trailer the more interested I was in viewing it. When I got the chance at these tickets I grabbed them up as soon as I could, it has a star-studded cast (Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Bob Balaban,and Harvey Keitel) and just the music played in the trailer it started to seem like something I wanted to see. Moonrise Kingdom takes place in 1965, it’s about a young Khaki Scout named Sam who falls in love with a young girl named Suzy. Over the space of a year they correspond via letter while Sam goes through the transition from foster home, to foster parents and then to a Khaki Scout camp. Suzy lives with her parents and three younger brothers and she finds out that her parents are trying to find ways to fix her as they consider her a “very troubled child”. The two run away together and fall deeper in love.
When it is discovered that the two have run off, Sam’s scout leader, played by Edward Norton, rallies his scouts to go find Sam, to the other scouts dismay. By the time the Khaki Scouts start looking for Sam, Mr and Mrs Bishop, Suzy’s parents, discover she is missing, and find a police officer to help them out, the same one who is helping Scout Master Ward find Sam, he is played by Willis. During the entire movie there is a Narrator who we find out was, at one time, Sam’s school teacher, he fills the audience in on various parts of the world’s history at the time, such as the hurricane that is about to come through during the time the two have run away.
The two kids eventually get caught, Suzy goes back to live with her parents and Sam goes off to live with the Bruce Willis until Social Services can come pick him up. The Khaki Scouts band together, after deciding that they haven’t been very kind to Sam, to help reunite the two. They bust Suzy out of her house and get Sam out of the officer’s trailer and take them to a neighbouring camp where they arrange for the two to get “married”. (“It won’t hold up in any state or court of law.”)
By the end of the movie, things get resolved in a rather satisfying way, the two manage to stay together, and things start working out more, it seems, between Suzy and her parents. There is one scene that I have NEVER wanted to see, EVER in my life. Bill Murray walks down the stairs shirtless holding onto an axe and a bottle of booze, he goes up behind his kids and says, “I’ll be outside, I’m going to go find a tree to cut down.” It was an interesting thing to witness.
I liked the way the movie was filmed, I don’t know much about film making so there will be NO technical talk whatsoever, if there is it is entirely by accident, it was done in a way that made it look like it could have easily been made in the late 60s or early 70s, it was a really cool look for a film, it, along with the costuming and the mannerisms of all the characters, really helped set the right ton for the movie. The music was great too, it really stood out from the rest of the movie. There were moments when the music just came out beyond everything else that was happening and made you pay attention to it, this may seem like a bit of a HEY LOOK AT ME, I’M IMPORTANT, thing but for this movie I think it worked really well.
All in all Moonrise Kingdom was a very enjoyable movie, I think it was very successful in what it was trying to say, and in the end it just made you feel good watching it. The acting was great, nothing special, and I was impressed by the two leads, at moments some of the adults in the film felt like they may have been forcing their lines but it didn’t detract from the experience of the movie. If you get a chance check out the movie, it is having a limited release right now, I’m not sure if it’s going to get a wide release, but if you can grab it up on DVD or Blu-Ray when it comes out. No, it wasn’t the best movie I’ve ever seen, it was just one that I enjoyed watching and one that reminded me a lot of the movie I loved so much from my childhood.
Moonrise Kingdom: 7/10
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