Where the Wild Things Are (2009)


Directed by Spike Jonez
Written by Spike Jones & Dave Eggers

I was greatly anticipating this simply based on the trailer and Spike Jonez. I do not remember the book and had no idea what specifically it would be about, but I knew I would be interested and I suspected I would love it. While it did not live all the way up to my expectations, I do believe I loved it all the same.

It made me feel the whole spectrum of emotions: happiness, sadness, anger even, love, nostalgia, disappointment, the list could go on. I attribute this to the wonderful direction by Jonez, he just pushed the right buttons. There were times I felt startled and unsettled, and I wished they could not have been there, but I think it was necessary for where the film was going. This is why I did not think it was perfect though.

It was a beautiful fairy tale of a story though. We get fully enveloped into Max’s imagination and witness his world. Not this world, the real world, or anybody else’s world, but the world according to Max. Each of us have one, whether we want to admit it or not, or whether we choose to explore and expand our own, it’s there. With Jonez at the helm, the film is able to capture it in such vivid detail and it’s glorious.

There is trouble and hardship there too, it is not a utopia. Sure, they are attempting to create one, but I like that they showed that, while we strive for one, there may not be one, it requires everybody’s effort and cooperation to even attempt. I have heard some say that they thought the film was sad and depressing. I took it the opposite way. Yes, they talked about the sun dying and the world coming to an end, and they failed to build their utopia and Max struggled to fit into his own family, but what about everything else that took place? He still has his hope and imagination. And so what if the sun is going to die, did we not already know that? Everything must end, and Max shows us that we must live in the moment, have fun, and most importantly to try to make things best by loving.

Yes, I said love. If you take away happiness, if you take away frozen corn, if you take away an igloo or a fort, you still have love. Love for your friends, for your family, and most importantly love from your friends and family. And you add on top of that the hope that Max exudes with his use of imagination, something that we, even as adults, must always cling on to, and you have a powerful combination. Love and Hope: two very important things to have, like Max.

***1/2 – Great

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