Where The Wild Things Are – Spike Jonze
From the marketing to the director, Where The Wild Things Are would always follow a path which would lead the film to a cult following, with the book itself being well-known and well-loved. First hearing that the revolutionary director Spike Jonze would be directing, many thought it was a match made in heaven, a director used to using quirky characters in unusual settings with a story based around a child’s imagination. Accompanying the images is the soundtrack composed by Karen O, a further acknowledgement to the type of audience who would go see a Spike Jonze film and see the adaptation of the book.
The start film shows Max, played by Max Records (great actor, plays the part tremendously with a certain likeable quality), a child living with his older sister and Mother, from the first minute, the audience gain the understanding of the uncontrollable nature of Max, with him fighting in his famous cat suit, with the pet dog. The quick editing is a style used throughout the film to great effect, which is used enjoyable well in the opening scenes. After the first fifteen minutes, the film transcends into the imagination of Max, or so it seems. You quickly realise that Max has run away from home to find himself in the middle of nowhere, angry and alone, he stumbles across a new place. The introduction of the monsters is perfect, the audience, along with Max is scared, whether to like to dislike them, they are created brilliantly from the book and given the right balance of emotions. The joyfulness of Max and the creatures playing and becoming friends to the sad ending of the adventure, it’s really worth watching, something different to cinema with unique form of storytelling.
Visually stunning, simplistic and natural, the cinematography is mind-blowingly perfect, with fitting the pace of the story, the setting and the characters. It’s near perfect-dom, with it having the “indie” look, but not used to the point of annoyance. A film that oozes likeable qualities, the music, the image and the dialogue is wonderful, a real treat at the cinema for something that is both liked by child and adult. If by the end you’re not uncontrollable sobbing or on the brink of real “man” tears then you’re either a zombie or a Fast and the Furious fan, which i beg you if you are, become a zombie, it would make the world a better place. A particular technique picked up is the use of shots pointing towards the sky, looking upward at the characters and the surroundings. It’s crafted brilliantly in the film to make us feel like Max, a small child looking up at the monstrous world in front of his eyes, the audience momentarily become Max. Nostalgia is also used in crafting a connection between Max and us, the inner child explored in a unique way.
And on a last note, don’t forget Paul Dano, Paul fucking Dano!
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