where the wild things are

Last night, we finally made our way to the cinema to see Where The Wild Things Are. I have been wanting to see this movie for months, ever since I first caught a glimpse of the trailer and began reading about the bold stance by director Spike Jonze had taken in terms of the edginess of the content and his strong desire to use larger than life puppet costumes for the wild things as opposed to computer graphics. And I was intrigued as to how a book consisting of ten sentences could be turned into a feature film.

Let me say right off the top that I loved this movie, and the more I think about it, making connections between the characters and exploring the themes, the more I am convinced that this is a truly great movie. It’s the story of young Max, adventurous and full of creativity, yet also sad, lonely and misunderstood. He is coping with the loss of a father, a sister growing older and more removed by the day, and a mother trying to keep it all together while trying to maintain some semblance of a normal life. After an episode with his mother, Max runs away and sails off to an island inhabited by the wild things, each of whom represents a little piece of Max’s emotional state and his life back home. Through his interactions with them, Max gains some perspective in regards to what his sister and mother are going through and how his actions affect others. And as he travels home to them, he understands more of what it means to be a part of a family that loves each other in the midst of the realities of life.

While the themes presented in the movie and the interactions between the characters are actually quite complex, at a fundamental level it reveals the simple truth that we all long to be loved, to know that at the end of the day, everything is going to be OK. It’s a simple message revealed in a children’s story that resonates at the core of all of us, no matter what age.

It should be a reminder to all who take the call to follow Jesus seriously that we are to demonstrate to the world the reality of his kind of love, to invite all to come to the table and enjoy a piece of chocolate cake and a glass of milk.

Fantastic movie, and I can’t wait to read the accompanying novel The Wild Things by Dave Eggers.

  1. December 30th, 2009

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