Where the Wild Things Are
1/8/2010, reviewed by Amanda Evans
After watching the trailer, I was expecting this movie to be a joyful, quirky celebration of they way children see the world. Instead it showed the insecurities children these days deal with, without giving them any answers. Max’s parents are divorced, his mother works till long after he gets out of school and then brings home a date, his big sister is too busy with all her teenage (boy) friends to pay any attention to him, and his teacher talks about the sun consuming our solar system. One thing leads to another until finally he flips out (over frozen corn) and runs off until he finds himself “where the Wild Things are.” That’s when I thought it might get fun, or at least that he would learn something about dealing with life. But all of the Wild Things are messed up and insecure too. They make Max their king and hope he will make the sadness go away. But his only advice is to have a wild rumpus and throw dirt clods, which works fine until someone gets hurt. Three quarters of they way through, I began to get bored of listening to all the whining and arguing.
As a commentary on the emotional state of our society, this movie made me sad. It couldn’t address any of Max’s insecurities because our culture doesn’t have any answers to give. I left the theater wanting to hug my children tight and read Ecclesiastes.
This movie did succeed marvelously on two levels. Visually it was amazing. The Wild Things looked like Maurice Sendak’s illustrations come to life—they weren’t too cartoony or too realistic. And it was fun to hear what ideas Max would come up with: his imagination was “boy” through and through.
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