Saturday, January 2, 2016
Review: Moonrise Kingdom (2012)
Two writers work out more of their feelings about their neglectful, conniving intellectual parents. Their surrogates run away with each other, are surrounded by the usual focus on objects, tableau, titular wordplay, and are eventually rewarded for all of the trouble they caused. Surprisingly, when this elevator pitch is cut short halfway through, you realize you could have watched this portion for four more hours (in theory -- looking at you, Standing Up). The story ends up being very simple on the face of it, getting so much accomplished with what seems like nothing but air. No, heavier than that. Maybe propane? It's a sustained joy, feat after cinematic feat tightly packed together.
All these spinning plates that Anderson has over his head begin crashing to the ground towards the end of the film, resulting in a pretty sloppy climax -- a sudden binocular contrivance, a teleporting crowd of kids after a lightning strike that is quickly brushed past, some time devoted to completing an arc in Edward Norton's character that we didn't know existed, a verbal confrontation in a church that sounds a lot like a first draft -- though it doesn't end up ruining the rest of the film, thankfully. It may even works towards its benefit. The messiness contrasts it with The Darjeeling Limited's clean ending. It's okay that these two kids achieve a victory even if they didn't earn it. Life is chaos, and they made love work within that chaos. It's a summer romance that burns hot and bright but -- let's face it -- will run out of fuel come winter. The time they spent together will be a rare moment of beauty they'll remember forever, but is now lost to the tide.