I’ve been a keen follower of the cinematic works of Spike Jonze for many years now. While I haven’t caught up on his complete back catalogue of films, I absolutely love ‘Being John Malkovich’ and ‘Adaptation’. He is also responsible for many of the film clips that visually stand out in my mind – ‘Buddy Holly’ by Weezer, ‘Sabotage’ by the Beastie Boys, ‘It’s Oh So Quiet’ by Bjork and ‘Praise You’ by Fatboy Slim.
Now I can add to the list his magical, fantastical and beautiful film ‘Where the Wild Things Are’. When I heard that Jonze was working on this film I knew that it would not just be a must-see, but a creation which would live up to (and possibly excel) the weighty expectations of many former children like me who grew up with Maurice Sendak’s classic book.
The film is told from the perspective of Max and through his eyes it explores concepts of family, friendship, trust, loyalty, responsibility and dreams. The thing that most struck me about the film is the way that Jonze has cleverly depicted how BIG even the smallest of problems can seem to a child; I know I remember feeling just that way when I was much, much younger.
Part live action, part animatronics, part furry costumed performers and part CGI means that the sum total of ‘Where the Wild Things Are’ looks and feels absolutely amazing. The story is a wonderful reflection of childhood, the nature of ‘wildness’ and the incredible power (and importance) of the imagination. I don’t want to give any details away at risk of spoiling some of the emotional intensity and fantasy of the film. All I can really say is that I would highly recommend it. While it is based on a children’s story, I would suggest that this is more a movie for adults to reflect on childhood rather than a movie for children themselves.
I think perhaps we all need to indulge in a little ‘wild rumpus’ from time to time…it is good and cleansing for the soul.