Moonrise Kingdom *****

Running time: 94 mins Certificate: 12A

 

Synopsis: In New England 1965, a Scout Master Ward (Norton) wakes to find his peaceful camp thrown into chaos by the disappearance of the Khaki Scout Sam (Gilman). Ward teams up with local sheriff Captain Sharp (Willis). They discover that he  may have absconded with Suzy (Hayward), daughter of two lawyers Mr. and Mrs. Bishop (Murray and McDormand).

 

With an all star cast, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two troubled teens on a small island off the coast of New Englan who run away together. Twelve year old Sam has lost his parents and does not fit in at his foster home, while Suzy  does not get along with her family and has been in trouble at school. When the pair take off together, various people in the village set out to find them.

 

The acting is brilliant in this film. Bruce Willis appears as a policeman who lives alone and craves company, while Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the parents of Suzy who are both lawyers. The film also stars Edward Norton as the scout leader and has appearances by Harvey Keitel and Tilda Swinton.

 

The film has many comic moments but also deals with serious issues. There are some parts of Moonrise Kingdom that seem a bit “off the wall” but there is a human element to it. Viewers can identify with the characters and their relationships with each other. 

 

Moonrise Kingdom makes good use of symbolism – for example the storm co-inciding with chaos – and puts a rather comic spin on the events that occur throughout the movie. Music is also used on a variety of occasions with different types of songs being matched to each character’s personality. The use of classical music works extremely, well with the 1960’s little town setting and the eccentric storytelling.

 

Cinemagoers who have encountered director Wes Anderson’s unique quirky style will know what to expect from his unusual story employed with bizarre characters and unconventional dialogue. Others may struggle with this different kind of filmmaking which will not be to everyone’s tastes. 

 

Overall Moonrise Kingdom is a joy to watch. A combination of comedy, realistic elements and believable characters makes it a 5 star movie that will appeal to viewers of all ages.

 

Reviewed by Lesley Watt

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