Centered in the minds of two 12 year olds desperate for a sense of belonging and love, Moonrise Kingdom tells the heartwarming story of growing up on an island full of obstacles and hardships.
Directed by Wes Anderson, Moonrise Kingdom shows the developing love between Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward), who run away together in hope of escaping their harsh worlds.
Sam is an orphaned Khaki scout with wilderness skills to get them anywhere they need. Suzy acts like a stereotypical pre-teen with attitude problems and a strong hate for parental figures.
Her parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) may not be the best role models with their troubled marriage.
But despite her dad’s drinking problem and mom’s need to shout everything through a megaphone, they attempt to have their children’s best interest at heart.
Bruce Willis plays a truly depressed sheriff who lost love and hasn’t been able to recover, while Edward Norton acts as a clumsy and humorous scout leader who cant manage to keep track of his troops, but is able to pull through when it matters most.
All pieces of this film are completely developed with details and personality, but the true stars are Gilman and Hayward. These unknown actors are able to brilliantly portray young love, filled with awkward gestures and sweet romance.
Fueled by awkwardness from start to finish, Moonrise Kingdom will remind you of the beauty of young love complete with the first encounter and first kisses. This film isn’t necessarily about the events themselves but the feelings surrounding the events. Emotion prevails as the two young lovers act in a way most adults aren’t even capable of.
Wes Anderson does a brilliant job portraying this young love stylistically and artistically from a child’s perspective, making this film one of the first contenders for Oscar glory.
Some may argue the truest form of love comes from childhood when one is innocent and free of worldly persecutors. Anderson shows this love from within the child’s mind and allows the audience to recall how they looked upon love as an awkward kid just trying to belong.
Moonrise Kingdom is complete with dry humor and a touching story, leaving a sense of happiness after watching this film. Anderson portrays the sad, unfortunate situations in a comedic and lighthearted way.
However, in order to truly appreciate the film, one must look upon it with an artistic mindset. This is not your big Hollywood blockbuster. If you want clear humor or want to watch stuff blow up, this is not the film for you.
Moonrise Kingdom delves deep into meaning, symbolism and the struggles of daily life. The plot becomes of secondary importance once you begin to truly feel the film. This is a film about heart, emotions and all that makes growing up so special.
If you want a truly meaningful film, which could be considered the best so far this year, then you will love Moonrise Kingdom.