Saturday, 17 April 2010

Where the Wild Things Are

Lowdown: A child ventures into an escape world populated by monsters.
Spike Jonze is a director with a distinguished record (Adaptation, some Fat Boy Slim music videos). Where the Wild Things Are is a famous children's book, so famous we bought it even though our son is not yet ready for it and even though it features monsters he would probably find too scary for quite a while. We haven't read the book yet, but with the two reputations combined I had high hopes for the film Where the Wild Things Are (yes, it's directed by Spike Jonze).
The film's beginning looks very promising. We follow the child of a single mother that is starving for attention. His older sister is too busy being an adolescent to pay him that attention, while his mother (Catherine Keener) is too busy juggling work with all of her duties. The beauty of this part of the film is the style in which Jonze teaches us those things about the characters: it's all very inferred. Coupled with a hand held camera, it feels as if we're secretly peeking into their lives (spoken by someone who detests the shaky hand held style).
The boy becomes desperate and runs away. So far away he ventures into a land where these big monsters - or wild things - are. The monsters do all sorts of weird things and are made up of all sorts of different characters. They take the boy in, and together they do all sorts of weird things together - mainly act the way little children do, but do it with monster force.
And that's it, really. The duration of the film is spent with the characters doing this thing and that, but without these things that they're doing making much sense. Other than the type of sense any chaotic child play makes, I guess. Is that worth some hundred minutes of my time? My answer is no.
Typical scene: The monsters destroying things.
Technical assessment: Where the Wild Things Are is quite a good Blu-ray, with vibrant and detailed picture (most notably in the darker scenes) as well as a well mixed and articulate sound.
Overall: I guess this is another film where you're supposed to see the "deeper meaning"and all that - excuse me - crap. Me, I was bored shitless. 1.5 out of 5 stars.

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