Monday, July 14, 2014

Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

IMDb plot summary: An adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's story, where Max, a disobedient little boy sent to bed without his supper, creates his own world - a forest inhabited by ferocious wild creatures who crown Max as their ruler.
Directed by Spike Jonze. Starring Max Records, James Gandolfini, Paul Dano, and Lauren Ambrose.

(Spoilers about the ending.)

Let me start off by saying that I have never read the book, so I have no prior opinions coming into this movie. All right. Now on to the review.

I like what this movie is *trying* to do. It has some very emotionally powerful moments and tackles some huge questions. It's definitely not a children's movie -- it is extremely existentially depressing all the way through. I found Max an instantly likable and relatable character, and I really rooted for him all the way through.

That being said... the movie never quite resolves. At least not in a satisfactory way. When the movie has spent a substantial amount of time discussing the terrifying discovery that someday the world will end, that is NOT solved by calmly saying, "Well, it's about time for me to go home to my mom now." I felt cheated by the ending after all that intriguing and interesting setup, and then ended just feeling depressed and dead inside. That is slight hyperbole, but it really did make me very sad and then refuse to give me a hopeful ending. Too bad, because I really did like where it was going.

2.5 stars.

Flickchart: #1044 out of 2178, below Cypher and above Videodrome.

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