Sunday, 31 January 2010


Adapted from the much-loved children’s book, Where The Wild Things Are follows Max, a mischievous 9-year-old who finds great difficulty in connecting with others. After a day of feeling neglected by his family, Max dons a wolf costume and playfully bites his mother on the shoulder, but when she reacts by yelling at him, he runs away from the house. Tears cascading from his eyes, he finds a dilapidated boat, and sails through the night until he comes across an island. His insatiable curiosity leads him to a forest where he encounters the Wild Things, a group of large monsters with animalistic traits. Though initially sceptical, the Wild Things accept Max’s childish bravado as a noble characteristic and declare him their new king. But just as Max believes he has this microcosm under his control, his new friends prove to be more vulnerable than expected.

The film is gorgeous to look at, and the extensive efforts put into animating the Wild Things appropriately have definitely paid off. Director Spike Jonze captures precious flickers of humanity through the character of Max, and at no point in the film does he appear more precocious than necessary. However, there is something a little off about Where The Wild Things Are. Whether it’s the fact that the Wild Things themselves are too rational to be as ‘wild’ as Max’s imagination, or the overwhelming sense of self-righteous hipness, the film feels incomplete, and it’s more than likely a result of the film’s hasty child-oriented revision.

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