Sunday, November 15, 2009

Wild...

I generally don't do spoilers, but I feel a need to say that "Where the Wild Things Are" is not really appropriate for children. This is in large part because it is a whole lot darker than the feel-good previews. The world to which Max sails across the sea in Spike Jonze's movie is one of lonely unhappy creatures, which he seems at first able to "make OK" but slowly learns he cannot. I have an entirely different recollection of the book - Max travels (from the safety of his bedroom, not from having run out of the house into the night) to a place of initially frightening but soon amiable animals, they have a grand time together, but he realizes he misses his world and returns to it - in time for dinner, which is still hot. The film is beautifully made (and shot in Victoria!), but a downer. A good part of the time I felt like I was vicariously experiencing someone else's unhappy childhood - is this how awful it is to have your parents break up? - but at the end I wondered also if this was what it's like to live with depression - in your family, and also in you. In between, I wondered if I wasn't in fact recalling memories of my own, which I had suppressed (or just forgotten). It can be a dark lonely thing to be a little person, even if you don't have to deal with damaged lonely big people.

1 comment:

Derek said...

So you saw it. It is a very grown-up movie, you're right, complete "mit erhobenem Zeigefinger." Could have been rewritten by Heinrich Hoffmann in the "Struwwelpeter."