A young scout Sam, bored with the performance at the church, escapes to the backstage, where he finds Suzy, a girl with whom a very romantic relationship is going to develop. Pair of lovers decides to escape from the town, triggering a chain of events that will put the whole island into disarray.
There are some movies which bring you some kind of warmth and unexplained happiness. Moonrise Kingdom is one of those. During the whole showing I was sitting with a silly smile on my face, feeling like I was drinking a huge cup of hot chocolate, sitting in a huge armchair near a fireplace. The movie is so comfortable and easy to watch, it reminds of Amelie or Hugo. All the ingredients are in place and appear at the correct time, playing to the overall impression of warm, velvety, irresistibly charming and cuddly atmosphere.
The recurring theme of the movie is the Benjamin Britten’s Guide to the Orchestra and Alexandre Desplat’s music, where they disintegrate the melody played into smaller components, played by different instruments. It is impossible to do the same with the movie though. Moonrise Kingdom is the perfect example of synergy: the value of the components combined is way bigger than the values of the separate parts. Even though the movie seems simple to assemble, there is some magic happening that brings the whole plot into life. It is not enough just to take fantastic actors such as Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Bill Murray, add some very extravagant children and spice it with a good portion of jokes. Moonrise Kingdom is something bigger than that: it is truly a kingdom, with its own rules, charming inhabitants and magnificent scenes, which captivate and don’t let you go until you promise that you will return.
This movie is all about those little details that make you feel so comfortable. It is sepia-style picture. It is the font of opening and closing credits. It is the camera that moves steadily, without the shaking. It is Suzy’s binoculars that she never lets go. It is this brilliant Narrator in the red coat. It is the trampoline with a jumping kid. It is the “non-violent” search party. Those little moments are so numerous, it will take a few pages to write down, but all of them create this special feeling of comfort and joy.
And, of course, the cast. The main trio of Norton, Willis and Murray makes this movie even more charming and special. Little intonations of Willis, shorts and hat (and heroism and dedication) of Norton, clumsiness and big-heartedness of Murray will definitely cause some uncontrolled smiles. The Narrator by Bob Balaban is so good, I want to mention him several times to ensure everybody notices his performance. And even though the kids don’t show this level of professionalism, their story is still incredibly charming, simple and touching.
So overall I can only hope that we will see more of this kind of masterpieces in the future, and less of soulless robots or superheroes with hammers. I can only hope that Wes Anderson, the director of the movie, will one day release a vinyl record, where he would explain to everyone how to bring together all the correct components to produce incredible works that inspire and enlighten. I can only hope that movies will bring the same level of pure happiness as this one easily delivers.
But for now – definitely the best movie of the year so far.