Posted by: Staff | 11.05.2009

Where the Wild Things Are Review

ALLY SASS ’11

I went to see Where the Wild Things Are a few weeks ago and was expecting a fun, light hearted adaptation of the children’s book. It was possibly one of the most emotionally intense movies I have ever seen. There was one point during the movie when my friends and I were holding on to each other, consumed by fear and anxiety. It is hard to describe what exactly was so intense and mentally disturbing about the movie, but I’ll give it a shot.

I’m sure a large portion of the school read the book Where the Wild Things Are as a child. It is hard for me to remember all the details of the actual book, but I can recall that it wasn’t as heavy as this movie was. In case you’ve forgotten, the story is about a young boy named Max who escapes to a make-believe land and meets a group of Wild Things. The Wild Things decide to make Max their king. Along with the hilarious moments, there were some very adult themes in the plot line of this movie, regarding how the Wild Things treated each other and expressed their emotions. I think that the Wild Things were really supposed to be representing humans and portraying intense human feeling. Most cartoon or story characters that you see won’t have a serious mental breakdown or be verbally attacked by another character. There was a lot of frightening dialogue between the monsters and Max in the movie. A huge aspect of the story was that the entire adventure between Max and the Wild Things was happening in Max’s head. (I think it’s implied, but I’m not sure that it’s ever explicitly stated that it’s all in his mind.) It seemed that all of the emotions the Wild Things had were really Max’s emotions. Because he had been constantly told that he was out of control, he escaped to a nonexistent land where everything seemed out of control as well.

The physical setting of the movie was very beautiful. The land where the Wild Things lived consisted of an ocean, a desert, and a forest. The camera work was very different from the camera work of a typical Hollywood film. It had more of a shaky, independent-movie feel. But it worked for the story. In the movie, the daytime was constantly filled with joy and adventure. However, most of the movie took place at night, and nighttime was often where the deeper parts of the story unfolded.

I really enjoyed this movie, but I was very taken aback by how heavy and sometimes disturbing it was. But frankly, I was at the edge of my seat more during this movie than I have been during a movie in a while. Honestly, I think that it should be rated PG-13 instead of PG. I’m not sure if I could handle it as a kid. It was very touching and thought-provoking, and Max Records, who plays Max, is a great actor. I recommend it for anyone who is in the mood for a deep and complex movie.

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Responses

  1. this is great! what a great writer!


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