With so many nuanced features to appreciate, the soundtrack, the cinematography, the understated storylines, Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom is a film that will almost immediately demand a second viewing. Having been released to DVD and Blu-ray on October 16th will definitely make those binge viewings a simpler process. The story of Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and Suzy Bishop’s (Kara Hayward) summer escape in the New England wilderness is easily one of Anderson’s best works. With assistance from Roman Coppola on the script,he is able to create one of the most whimsical, eccentric, yet honest cinematic displays of twelve-going-on-teenage angst.
Making its premiere at the 2012 Cannes Film Festival, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two pre-teens who are generally having a rough adolescence so far. We have Sam, an orphan and “by far” the most unpopular member of his Khaki Scout troop, and Suzy, seen as a troubled child by her parents and liable to go “berserk” amongst her peers. It’s Anderson and Copppola’s script that bring the story to life, along with what seems like a sepia-toned lens that the film is presented through. We have the usual type of ‘Anderson-ian’ kinks like the Khaki Scouts use of rockets and humor stemming from honesty rather than comedic intent. And with minimal direct focus given, we’re still able to determine that Mr. and Mrs. Bishop (Bill Murray and Frances McDormund), Police Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) and Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) each have personal or moral dilemmas of their own. That’s accomplished with the help of some solid performances.
The events taking place in this story are pretty clear cut, but like any good piece of art, the complete interpretation should be left to each individual who watches the film. Views could easily range from adolescent angst to teenage transition and loss of innnocence. What is clear is that our two protagonists are presented in such a way that they seem to understand themselves much better than any of their peers, even if they are still a pair of fairly volatile twelve year olds.
Moonrise Kingdom is Wes Anderson at the top of his game, and should see it’s share of recognition come award season. With that said, the recently released DVD and Blu-ray discs should definitely be considered by all Wes Anderson fans and art lover’s alike, for your own version of a cinematic getaway.
“Moonrise Kingdom” is available on DVD and Blu-ray disc at your local entertainment and online retailers.