Search This Blog

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Film – Where the Wild Things Are – directed by Spike Jonze

Star rating – 7/10

Let me first admit my vested interest in loving this film – this is one of my favourite all time books, not just children’s books. It is a fabulous story that I inflicted upon my own children, and still do happily inflict upon any passing children who will spare me the time, at every opportunity. Those wonderful opening lines just to remind you are:

‘The night Max wore his wolf suit and made mischief of one kind or another, his mother called him “WILD THING!” and Max said “I’LL EAT YOU UP” so he was sent to bed without eating anything.’

And if you have never read this 1963 classic – what have you been doing? Go out immediately and beg steal or borrow a copy….

So, back to this new film version by Spike Jonze. It is not so much a children’s film, as a film for adults like myself who love the book, to enjoy and to take along with them any children they might like to bring along the way. And it has to be said that it is a very dark film. One of my seven year old twin companions on this occasion thought it was a bit too scary to be a PG certificate. Jones brings the story to life by setting poor lonely Max in a family where his big sister and her friends make fun of him and won’t let him join in their fun, and his single parent mother is preoccupied by cuddling up to her new boyfriend with a glass of wine than inspecting Max’s new den. So obviously he gets mad, bites her, and runs away into an adventure with the wild things. Seems quite reasonable under the circumstances.

The adventure itself is also quite dark. The monsters have their own internal wrangling which make the group dynamic difficult to control. But they quickly make the intrepid Max their king and he tries to lead them into peace and harmony, with mixed results it has to be said. Max Records is wonderful as the young Max, and James Gandolfini stars as the voice of one of the main monster characters, Carol.

The film is a bit over long, which makes it more challenging for the young viewers. But the way the much loved and very short story is extrapolated is indeed very good. The wild settings are impressive and slightly futuristic, and the cinematography is wonderful.

So yes, ‘Let the wild rumpus start’, but just make sure you get back home by suppertime.

No comments:

Post a Comment