Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Moonrise Kingdom

Moonrise Kingdom– Wes Anderson – I realise this is entirely my opinion and this film has been highly (and though it may seem contradictory to say so, given my own opinion, rightfully) praised…I fell that, in short: TOO FAR Wes, TOO FAR.  Of Anderson’s films I have seen – and enjoyed – Bottle Rocket, The Royal Tenebaums, The Darjeeling Ltd and Fantastic Mr. Fox  (really need to see Rushmore)…for me Moonrise Kingdom would not be included in the aforementioned list of ‘enjoyed’ Anderson outings. The other films I have seen had adult relationships, which, despite being manicured into Anderson’s delightfully detailed wardrobe of eccentricities, felt connected, at some level, to emotion. Fantastic Mr. Fox was never going to be about moments of human pathos or emotion but, through the individual and innovative animation (and its origin with Roald Dahl, as a child’s story), had no need to tick such boxes to succeed. Unfortunately Moonrise Kingdom feels essentially grounded in a comparable world of child-like adventure (despite obviously attempting to explore nervous dabbling in ‘growing up’ and momentary insight into adult relationships) without having the charm of the animation. I am not ridiculously suggesting that a film that centres around children, albeit on the cusp of hinting adolescence, need be exclusively child-like – of course not – BUT, when emotional reach and sophistication is a short sighted as it is here – it begins to feel childishly limited. The quirk of Wes Anderson’s immediately recognisable aesthetic is in full, saturated and suffocating swing…with Anderson’s other films I would avoid ‘quirky’ or ‘quirk’ as they call to mind the pejorative connotations of superficial strangeness or ‘quirky’ ’s   less loved sibling: ‘kooky’. Well, this is neither ‘quirky’ nor ‘kooky’ but a full-blown chocolate box of pastel coloured mannerisms. So meticulously choreographed, colour coordinated and calculated, that the film feels closer to a lifeless museum of Wes Anderson dolls; every film of Anderson’s has indulged this neat cabinet of curiosities effect, but have never before been so nauseatingly cloying and unrelenting. I felt the majority of emotion or interest was eclipsed by the queasy sensation of being force fed very ornate, quaintly decorated tea-cakes, while sat in the manufactured nostalgia of a vintage clothing shop… and then, trying my best to choke down the remarkable icing and attention to detail, listening to the saccharine voices of a children’s choir on a plastic record player…on repeat. At the beginning of this review I said praise for this film was assigned ‘rightfully’…which seems, granted, contrary to my teacake spitting distaste…but the thing is, regardless of ‘taste’ – it cannot be denied that Anderson’s flourishes of formal detail and control, the insistence and attainment of his particular vision…are all, technically, very impressive. It still made me feel irritable and slightly sick. 5/10

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