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Dueling reviews: ‘Moonrise Kingdom’ is a must-see

Staff Writer

Published: Friday, October 5, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, February 13, 2013 15:02

Moonrise Kingdom

Courtesy Photo

If you’re looking for another summer blockbuster flick with big explosions and crazy special effects, then “Moonrise Kingdom” is not for you. If you want a cute, touching, different and surprisingly funny film, then the Wes Anderson flick is something you should check out.

“Moonrise Kingdom” is about two children, Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward) and Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman), who live on a New England island called New Penzance. The children are unhappy in their respective lives and decide to run away together. Without giving much away, the film follows their exploits through the island while they are tracked by Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis), Scout Master Randy Ward (Edward Norton), and Suzy’s parents, Laura and Walt Bishop (Frances McDormand and Bill Murray).     
The child actors both do a great job at portraying the awkwardness that comes with being a child acting like a grown up. The star studded supporting cast portrays their quirky characters to perfection, adding a hilarious layer to the film.

The story is fairly simple and straight forward, though it does contain many major life themes that are touched on in a child like nature. The film does a beautiful job reflecting everything through the children protagonists.

The style of the film is very “Wes Anderson”: very stylistic, with beautiful and non-traditional cinematography. The setting of the film is nature-esque and everything from sets and costumes fit very nicely into the film, despite its subtleties.

Finally, the pace of the film is one of its strengths. Despite having a short running time of about 90 minutes, the film feels longer without feeling lengthy. Anderson really utilized his running time well and no scene feels wasted or extraneous. Everything has a purpose, feels meaningful, and more importantly is memorable.

In the end, “Moonrise Kingdom” is one of the surprising films of the summer. While it’s not one of the blockbuster hits such as “The Avengers,” “The Dark Knight Rises,” and “The Amazing Spider-man,” “Moonrise Kingdom” has a lot of heart and a lot of intrigue. After so many epic and large scale visuals, it offers a pleasant alternative that is truly an enjoyable tale.

Final Score: 3 out of 4 stars

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