The Map to the Kingdom
Mention Wes Anderson, and you'd just about know what to expect from this auteur in his films. There are the little quirks that come with almost each of his characters, set against some of the most absurd elements or scenes, but what jumps out at you for the instant recognition of an Anderson movie, is its technical aspect, with his trademarks peppered all over. The facial close ups, the linear tracking shots, the colours, the slow motion. All which Moonrise Kingdom also possess, along with a cast list reuniting him with familiar faces such as the now reclusive Bill Murray.
Its casting makes it almost like a no brainer for the opening night at the Cannes Film Festival, with the likes of Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Frances McDormand and Harvey Keitel being headlines, and an ensemble that others can only drool at. Undoubtedly they will be key draws for audiences to this film, even if they are not familiar with Anderson's filmmaking or narrative style. I suspect however, with this more accessible story, he may just win over some fans to go look at his filmography.
Set in the 1960s, the tale centers around two kids who made a pact a year ago to run away together, and the execution of that plan now. And in their adventures, they remind us of a time when we were children with little cares that bog down adults in their world, living in our own little imaginary tangent, while the adults begin to go about their frantic search to bring us back to reality. And in a Wes Anderson movie, this comes with comedy, and striking visuals that bring scenes to life, designed in picturesque fashion that you can just freeze frame any scene, and admire the artistry.
And for a film about kids, debutants Kara Hayward and Jared Gilman now propel themselves into recognition for a job well done, effectively taking us on their characters' adventures about first love, rebellion, and are just a charm to watch in their shenanigans for the screen. While one can recognize a Wes Anderson film just because, it is his discovery and casting of these two that makes Moonrise Kingdom such an engaging watch. Highly recommended!
You can read my review of Moonrise Kingdom at movieXclusive.com by clicking on the logo below.