Where The Wild Things Are - Blu-ray Review

'distinctly indie in tone, with a matching soundtrack and aesthetic to suit, and a sensibility which favours the creative spirit over such limitations as 'story' or 'plot''

Where The Wild Things Are is one of those films where your enjoyment level will mainly be set by how interested you are in its visuals. Based on the much-loved Maurice Sendak children's picture book, it would be fair to say that the loose 'story' which director Spike Jonze and his co-writer Dave Eggers craft is really just that; loose, open-ended, almost whimsical. Which is, quite possibly, a problem.

It is though, testament to Jonze' talents as a director that he has managed to imbue Where The Wild Things Are with some genuine beauty, beauty of a sort that makes you wonder why he isn't more proficient as a director. The world created here is one distinctly indie in tone, with a matching soundtrack and aesthetic to suit, and a sensibility which favours the creative spirit over such limitations as 'story' or 'plot'.

But like so many indies which think they can eschew such conventions, Jonze' own quickly starts to veer off-track. The main problem here is just simply that there isn't that much really interesting going on. Jonze' protagonist Max (Max Records) makes it to the island where the large and raucous Wild Things are and then proceeds to what can only be described as 'interact' with them, after they have declared him king. I say 'interact' because it's difficult to describe it as anything else. He talks to them and jumps around with them but beyond the overall metaphor (considering the difficulties of being young and angry, of feeling several conflicting emotions at once), there's little really going on here - Jonze doesn't fill his creation with anything more than a few pitched mud-clot battles and 'pile-ons' to keep the kids happy.

Which unfortunately, come the end, only had the effect of making me wonder what the point of it all was. We don't really learn anything about Max, his family or even about life in general from his folly to the island of the Wild Things, neither does he, nor perhaps, anyone else in the story and whilst we do see some beauty along the way, it's difficult to stay invested in one-hundred minutes or so of interesting cinematography. If it's art for art's sake then Jonze should rightly take some praise for making something very artistic indeed but if his story was meant to capture the imagination more, (and I think it was) then sadly he's missed the target slightly with a narrative which hardly warrants that description.


Look further...

'Where The Wild Things Are is simply unlike anything I’ve ever seen' - Black Sheep Reviews, 5/5

'It may prove to be simultaneously too strange for kids and too simplistic for adults to truly embrace, although I suspect viewers of all ages may find it similarly boring' - Phil On Film

'In certain ways it’s an interesting story about growing up, about family, about having good intentions but producing adverse results, but it’s all really, really complicated, more so than it probably needed to be' - Cut The Crap Movie Reviews, 7/10

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