It has been a few weeks since I saw Moonrise Kingdom and over time I mulled over what i really thought of it.
And here it goes:
I will save you from all the background info on Anderson, because quite frankly, if you read reviews on this, you probably would have seen at least The Royal Tenenbaums.
I really loved it. At the time I was entertained and loved the much quoted “quirkiness” of it. However, if you are a seasoned Anderson fan, you might be pleasantly entertained but definitely not surprised or mind blown.
It is a typical Anderson film and that is not to say it was bad, but it didn’t deliver anything new.
So here is what I liked:
I loved the cast. Murray is obviously at the top of my favourite actors, though his screentime was limited which I did not appreciate.
Edward Norton was a surprisingly good choice for scout master Ward. He was pitiful and subtle, exactly what Anderson was looking for, but then again, Norton is a good actor so it is no surprise that he delivered this role brilliantly.
The kids were cool. I liked their acting ability and I am usually pretty sceptical about kids in movies. Suzy was pretty convincing and seemed to be the child of an Anderson generation, that is to say, she reminded me a lot of Margot Tenenbaum, quite an achievement for a kid who isn’t the most seasoned actress.
Bruce Willis acted as the slightly dim witted, sad cop Bishop who does his job dutifully on the island where NOTHING HAPPENS, yet he feels alone, isolated and finds comfort in the arms of a married woman (Bill Murray’s wife and mother of Suzy). While his performance did not have me go for the full standing ovation, he did do better than I expected. Afterall, Willis is not a likely Anderson character.
image courtesy of imdb.com
There we have it, the good part: the cast, now to the bad:
I loved the beginning, I loved how the story was unravelled to the audience. The fast pace and the flashbacks were a nice touch. It moved the story along nicely.
But once the whole plan of little Sam and Suzy was discovered and they were separated, the whole film slumped a little bit. It went from bad to worse in the last third of the film where I was turning around thinking “Have I accidently stumbled into a re-run of Fantastic Mr Fox?!”
The story became so bizarre, that you were pulled out of the atmosphere that Anderson carefully created at the beginning. Suddenly the whole film became a laughable fugitive film where no one took anything seriously,
While I never watch any of Anderson’s films with the delusion that this is real life, I however like things plausible. And I am tired of arguing this point. YES, I don’t believe in zombies, or ghosts or whatever and still enjoy a good horror, but that is because the plot in itself is plausible and that is the most important thing about any film, no matter if it’s kitchen sink or exploitation.
So when the last third had my eyebrows going wild with scepticism, I knew that wasn’t a good sign.
It ended too cliche, too good and not enough Anderson.
The score of course, was as usual, excellent, I did not expect any less from him though.
So my verdict is: It was an enjoyable, typically Anderson film but please, don’t expect a new Tenenbaum as this shines with its casts but disappoints with the plot.
I give it a 6/10.