Where the Wild Things Are (2009) – 4.5/5

Let me start by saying that this movie is un-freaking believable. Literally, in this case, as it’s about a boy that somehow finds himself on an island inhabited by huge furry creatures with big eyes and strangely expressive faces. That’s the whole movie, folks. Just a kid and a bunch of monsters running loose on an island for 2 hours. But it works, and it works brilliantly.

What I really loved about this film, other than the great direction/cinematography/acting/CGI, is the overall metaphor present in the story. On the surface, it’s just a film about a boy, Max, who runs away from home and finds himself on an island inhabited by said monsters. But it’s much more than that.

The film is really about growing up, and the sadness that comes with having to let go of a rather carefree existence for the responsibility and heartache that comes with maturity. The monsters on the island are sad, angry things that yearn for the days when they were younger and could just play all day and sleep in big piles at night. But those days are gone, despite their struggles to believe otherwise.

The little boy is just at the cusp of this transition, and the film is basically an imaginative journey of his thoughts and feelings as he crosses this threshold. There’s so much more to this movie, though, but alas, this is a measly blog film review and not worth pages and pages of my interpretation. All I’ll say is, man can that Spike Jonze direct.

It’s probably the best film I’ve seen this year so far, and I’ve seen a ton, almost all, actually. Except Transformers 2, but I doubt that that would be better. Sure, the story may not always be straightforward or make sense, but so what? It shouldn’t have to. Its abstract nature works to great effect. Well worth the watch. Well worth it.

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