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August 6, 2012 | by  | in Arts Film | [ssba]

Review – Moonrise Kingdom

Every so often I encounter a film that leaves me brimming with joy, a film that speaks to my love of cinema for its ability to touch and enthral. Moonrise Kingdom is one of those films. Wes Anderson has constructed a heartfelt gem which may turn out to be his masterpiece.

Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of Sam Shakusky and Suzy Bishop after they fall in love and run away into the wilderness. Their disappearance sparks a police hunt, which along with an approaching storm, exposes fractures in the seemingly idyllic New Penzance community.

Anderson cobbles together a fantastic cast, all of whom master the comedic timing needed to execute the script’s brilliantly deadpan dialogue. His characters are at once dysfunctional and awkward, but also endearing. It avoids a common pitfall of Anderson’s films where the cast of gawky outcasts are off-putting and consequently induce little sympathy from the audience. Moonrise’s leads may be peculiar, but their innocence makes them appealing and engaging.

Aside from quirky characters, the distinctive aesthetic of New Penzance shows that Anderson’s flair remains intact.

His tight, controlled cinematography gives the audience the feeling of gazing in on these people’s lives, lived within pastel coloured 1960s houses and the enticing expanses of the countryside. It’s a joy to partake in this vibrant world, which evokes a vision of childhood that is both recognisable and fantastical.

As a visual showcase Moonrise Kingdom is quintessential Wes Anderson: bizarre yet beautiful. However, it’s the charming characters and poignant story at the centre of the film that add the human element needed to elevate the film to greatness.



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