1/30/2010

Movie Review: Where the Wild Things Are (2009)


Being based on a well-loved children's book, I thought Where the Wild Things Are would follow the path of book-to-blockbuster franchises Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia. Instead it took a much different route.

Spike Jonze's take on the story of Max and The Wild Things (which is a actually more of a misnomer because they were like they were in depressants most of the time) is an uncompromising version with an adult's point of view. Gone are the magic tricks and grand sets, but what we have here is a film with much restraint.

While there are moments of "wildness," the over-all mood of the film is melancholic and sulking. Voice acting by James Gandolfini, Forest Whitaker, and Cathering O'Hara give The Wild Things personality, but it's the performance of Max (played by Max Records) as a hyper-imaginitive child that sets the tone. Spike Jonze's music video pedigree is also showcased as the music captures the atmosphere almost perfectly.

Where the Wild Things Are is what I would call the "Anti-Harry Potter," as it is quite raw and may bore the kids to sleep, but nonetheless shines in its own untamed way.



Rating: 3/5


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