Where the Wild Things AreFeature Film |
A fascinating and surprisingly meditative interpretation of Sendak’s cherished book.
"Let the existential rumpus start!" With Maurice Sendak's blessing (and producing credit), director/screenwriter Spike Jonze and co-screenwriter Dave Eggers have expanded his brief and brilliant 1963 picture book into a fascinating and surprisingly meditative film that wisely borrows lightly from its iconic source. Thankfully, Jonze and Eggers didn't take the Shrek approach and load the movie with juvenile jokes and pop-culture references; instead, they venture far in the opposite direction, running with the story's themes of imagination and childhood frustration. In this Wild Things, we learn more about the home life of our young protagonist, Max (wonderfully portrayed by Max Records), and we find out much more about his ferocious clawed companions, particularly the mercurial Carol (voiced by James Gandolfini) and the free-spirited KW (Lauren Ambrose, who steals the show whenever her monster-sized Muppet is on screen). Photographed with a beautifully naturalistic eye, Max, the massive creatures, and their outdoor surroundings all look amazing, allowing character and mood to take precedence over plot. At times, the movie's meandering pace and melancholy tone--as one Wild Thing says, "I'm kind of a downer"--allow the film to drift intriguingly far from the mainstream, but Jonze makes room for more obviously engaging moments such as dirt-clod fights and plenty of howling, remaining true to both the spirit of the book and his own singular vision.
|Where the Wild Things Are trailer|