Why did I watch it?
I've never seen a Wes Anderson film before. There, I said it. The trailers for Moonrise Kingdom made it look like a quirky, fun film with a great cast and worth a look.
What's it all about?
Set on a peacefully quiet island off the coast of New England, two children, having only met once, set their pen-mail devised plan to runaway together into action. This leads to the islands eccentric inhabitants launching their own search and rescue mission to track down the wayward pair before a storm closes in.
Should you watch it?
Quite simply, yes. Moonrise Kingdom is beautifully shot, Anderson uses rich warm colours throughout and the film has such a retro feel to go with the 60s setting. The opening credits sequence was spellbinding and the film rarely lets go from there onwards. The cast is fantastic, the two young leads give performances that belies their youth and are supported by a brilliantly deadpan Bruce Willis character, Edward Norton, Billy Murray, Tilda Swinton and cameos from Jason Schwartzmann and Harvey Keitel.
The screenplay is charming yet not without some serious undertones, in particular each child's motives for leaving but the film's offbeat humour (Swinton plays a character literally called 'Social Services') never lets the mood fall away from any other than pure adventure. Make no doubt that the children's naivety and innocence are the highlight of the film. The moment they meet up, Sam orders an inventory their equipment which includes an air rifle, a cat and six books before handing over some flowers to his young love. He later warns Suzy that he may wet the bed inside their tent. I'm reluctant to say anything further so as not to spoil the film for others.
Kingdom is supported by a score of classical music that fits perfectly with the eccentric nature of most characters and the old feel of the film.
A must see, and not just for Wes Anderson fans (as I mentioned I hadn't seen any of his films beforehand).