I’m not sure who the audience was for this film, but what a gorgeous, gorgeous movie.
Based on the much loved, but seven sentence long children’s book, Where the Wild Things Are is the story of a troubled kid Max who runs away from home and sails to the land of the wild things. Here, he declares himself king of the wild things. The wild things are like childish adults, or precocious kids. They need a leader, or a parent, and Max fills this need. This is the plot, but this is not the movie.
The movie– like the better movies Pan’s Labyrinth or The Fall— is about the fantasies that children create to cope with reality. And how even dreams and fantasy worlds may start out perfect, but even a child’s mind bores of perfection quickly.
This is not exactly a children’s movie, though many kids will enjoy it. It is not quite a movie for adults, but many adults will enjoy it. It is a good film. But I wished it had been great. There was a template for something truly spectacular. The visuals, the music, James Gandolfini’s voice work and Max Records’ performance as the kid approach greatness. But maybe there wasn’t enough in those seven sentences to make a ninety minute movie.