Sunday, 23 September 2012

REVIEW - MOONRISE KINGDOM


The films of Wes Anderson are best compared to each other, perhaps only comparable to each other, in fact. They are like so few other films - only his copycats' works - that, essentially, all they are required to do in order to get a pass is to be sufficiently 'Wes Anderson-esque' enough. Yet Anderson's persistent adherence to his unique style of filmmaking creates an unfortunate situation in which he must either produce increasingly superior films in relation to his previous work, or gradually adapt his style without straying too far from his stylistic core lest he become irrelevant. Moonrise Kingdom is the most concise distillation of this style yet, although it fails to surpass the gleeful invention of Fantastic Mr. Fox. His typical compound of rigour and whimsy is curious but thoroughly satisfying (although it irritates many). Anderson, thankfully, refrains from yielding to his most piquant indulgences too frequently here, allowing a small degree of realism to infiltrate his direction, and colour the cast's performances with just the right amount of depth. Never too deep, though - at heart, this is a comedy, and there's not a single humourless moment. Debuting leads Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward play their roles as children confident in how they want to be seen by others, insecure in their personal philosophies, committing mildly dangerous acts purely for a sense of purpose and self-satisfaction. They have no chemistry, and fool no-one into believing that they know what they're doing - this is the right tone to strike, and well befits the stereotypical Anderson lead character mould: a little pompous, arrogant, cowardly but harmless. The film stutters through a dreary middle section, after the runaways are found, and doesn't get very far thereafter, but the recovery is adequate, and the ending most pleasing.