Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
June 8, 2015, 9:35 am
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Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Directed by: Wes Anderson

Moonrise Kingdom is a coming of age story that defies traditional approach. It is an honest film that distills the essence of a story down to its core ingredients.

The characters are all driven by linear goals. They have one driving motivation that defines them and no other emotions. Except a slight melancholy that permeates the bones of any Anderson character. Being a scout leader is what defines the scout leader. Being a cop is what defines the cop. The representative of Social Services has no other name than ‘Social Services’. The two ‘troubled’ children just want to be together.

Mr. Bishop (Bill Murray) is the only character that displays any sort of volatility. Every other character moves through the world like a blank mannequin. Character traits pinned to them like scout badges. This seems to be a trait of many Anderson characters. Goals are what drives them. From Dignan in Bottle Rocket, to Francis in the Darjeeling Limited. To Sam in Moonrise Kingdom. Plans are what drives them. Itineraries and Inventories.

Moonrise Kingdom plays like a children’s adventure story. Dripping with nostalgia and child-like drive to adventure. But it is also infected with a sadness. In the two main characters, Suzy and Sam, this is a chance for them to break free of the world. If only for ten days. To forge a kingdom of their own to live in. Away from parents and scout masters and arbitrary life. But it’s a fleeting escape as they know it is coming to an end. As they grow into adolescence, the real world hunts them down. The whole turbulent ordeal culminating in a storm.

But for that fleeting moment in Moonrise Kingdom, there was hope for the future.

Watch this Kogonada short on Anderson’s obsessive symmetry. See how much of the footage pulls from Moonrise Kingdom. It’s testament to the intricacy with which he builds and frames every shot of the film. The obsessiveness that defines great directors.