Where the Wild Things Are (2009)

directed by Spike Jonze
based on the picture book by Maurice Sendak
screenplay by Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers

An adaptation of a 300 word children's classic picture book cannot get better than this. The movie may be entertaining for kids, and like in the book, they may relate to Max, but I believe that young adults and parents will get more from it and appreciate it more. What Jonze does throughout the film is make the audience feel 9 again, and he does it so effectively that the feeling of nostalgia is inevitable. We all have a Max inside and Jonze awakens him. It is so easy to feel what Max is feeling, and so satisfactory to understand his actions and reactions in both the real and the imaginary world.

The movie is so psychologically profound that it complements the study of the book. Loneliness, frustration and anger are the main feelings that drive Max to escape and enter the dark wilderness of his subconscious, where he becomes King and starts his rule with a wild rumpus. The creatures each represent some aspect of Max's personality. He explores his fears with joy and angst, constructs and destroys in order to find catharsis. He experiences self-knowledge.

The film is visually stunning with live-action characters and surreal sceneries that represent the human's expansive, infinite and beautiful mind. Only Jonze could have directed this wonderful piece. The soundtrack, penned by Karen O from the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, is almost like a character in the movie; it is essential to translate the message both Sendak and Jonze are trying to communicate.

Very Recommended.
Rating: 9/10

No comments: