Ahhhh youth. Pure, fleeting, and so varied in emotion and perception. This quirky weird little film was… an experience. Moonrise Kingdom is a very unconventional kiddy love story and an original film in its editing, acting, and composition choices.
It reminded me of Peter Pan meets Addams Family Values, the one in which Wednesday Addams goes to camp and in the end conspires with the band of marginalized and misunderstood campers.
This is a love story for the “little weirdos.” To be clear, I take the term weirdo as a huge compliment. I was a weirdo growing up, and since I seldom met any weirdos too, I felt ashamed of my weirdness and suppressed it for a long time. Now I found a bunch of misfits who make me proud to be me. This film embraces how peculiar the children are without mocking or isolating them, as most other children-based movies tend to do. No one is treated like they are special or odd, they just are. What’s endearing about this film is to see two little weirdos find each other and unite for love.
I was delighted by how the children behaved and spoke like adults in child form, and each character plays the roles he or she thinks should be embodied. For example, Sam takes care of Suzie like a husband by behaving the way he thinks it should be done, the way he has seen it being done. However, his actions come across as mechanical and unnatural, which they are since he is thinking about acting like a man taking care of his beloved instead of being a kid with a crush. This is very obvious in the scene where Sam and Suzie first kiss. I was so amused by the unnatural progression of their actions, that didn’t come from impulse but rather from reflection. It was cute, and strange.
The style of the film is unconventional, fantastical at times — Edward Norton leaps over a wide trench at one point, clearly with superhuman abilities, and the help of wires of course — and even reminded me of Fantastic Mr. Fox, or a children’s book that was not written for the average child. I love the portrayal of young love, in its impatience and purity. The two characters aren’t in love because they settled for each other nor for any personal gain or because of peer pressure. They purely and simply love each other for who they are, and because the only place they feel they fit in is beside one another.
I loved how the camp scouts weren’t your typical bullies and became allies to Sam and Suzie upon reflection. They took the time to reevaluate their actions and became sensitive to Sam’s situation as an orphan of circumstance. Adorable. It was heartwarming to see children capable of relating to one another, which seldom happens in movies, or in life for that matter. Luckily, we’re dealing with smart, eloquent children here. It was refreshing to see a film starring future “Zuckerbergs” and “Sheldon Coopers.”
This is the “Disney movie” for kids, and adults, who never really related to Disney kids, with their overly-cheery demeanors and naive plot twists. I still prefer Pocahontas.