The exhausting three-year interim since Wes Anderson’s last film release finally ended on the Thursday 30th August. Moonrise Kingdom had arrived. Though it’s safe to assume that most people in our generation are familiar with the Wes persuasion of film, I won’t reveal too much, just in case you haven’t seen it yet (what?).
What I will divulge of course is that the element of Anderson artworks that is made up of very accurate, aesthetic, poignant and hilarious detailing is very present in his latest offering. The details are so deliberately attractive that it is as though there is a hidden frame embracing every scene, suggesting each shot is just as delicate and important as the next.
Written with friend and almost-cousin Roman Coppola, it comes as a given that the narrative is just as subtle as it is enlightening.
With the particulars of Moonrise Kingdom, that is, with a cast predominately made up of children, the dialogue is age sensitive. There is an age appropriateness that ensures each topic of discussion is spectacularly insightful within the plot as well as the lens’ vision.
For example, Suzy (Kara Hayward) suffers from some kind of pre-adolescent existential crisis and speaks of it in such a way that her logic is obscured yet understandable. Regardless, like most Wes characters, she says most with her eyes.
With an impeccable cast (Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, Edward Norton and, of course, Bill Murray), the integrity of the film’s characterisation is upheld once again – in terms of speaking without actually saying anything.
Our “corduroyed auteur” cultivates the realm of Moonrise Kingdom around a love between two twelve year-olds in a New England town during the mid ‘60s. As his seventh feature film, identifying Anderson’s intentions and the resemblance to his other films is no mean feat.
Included in Moonrise Kingdom are niche novels, peculiar record jackets, turquoise eye shadow and a corncob pipe, as well as outfits designed to parallel particular personality traits to a tee.
Similarly, as much as one hates the word “quirky” being thrown forth in the same sentence as Wes Anderson, it is nevertheless a necessity in deconstructing his path in cinematic history to enable recognition of the type of character content the audience is dealing with. Quirk: an accident, a coincident, a twist, an idiosyncrasy – it is this exact contradiction and precision that Wes employs in order to expose an element of the human condition that cannot, and should not, be expressed in any other way.
Anderson and Coppola are writers of unspoken truths, of the lives of dreamers and delinquents, of misfits and outcasts. Once or twice coined as creators of “dollhouse worlds” (whether or not that’s an insult is difficult to say), it is, on the contrary, obvious that Anderson and his team of exceptionally creative contemporaries build new worlds from the ground up that are much more realistic than many of the blockbusters that have ambushed our cinematic library this century.
With Anderson’s staple pans, close-ups and jump cuts, rest assured that it is all there once again, with only one disappointment: that our highly anticipated feature did not maintain the traditional finale.
There is no folk tune holding the characters tall as they walk (or dance) off the screen, redeemed from their romantic transgressions or rescued from their tortured souls. However, Moonrise Kingdom still ends with the romantic and redeemed, the characters tall(er) and their fictional souls comparatively intact.