If you are planning on seeing the movie Where the Wild Things Are, you might not want to read this. Or you might. I'm not sure. So I will just tell you. I am going to talk about it. Not only talk about it but explain the whole movie. So don't read it maybe.
I saw this tonight. I started crying at the beginning of the movie and cried until well after I got home.
This movie is not just a short book about a little boy being sent to bed without his supper and going to an imaginary land. This movie was about divorce and the breakdown of a family. It was very sad.
At the beginning you saw Max watch his Mom on a date in his house. He wanted her attention and she was giving it to a man that wasn't his father. He is angry and acts out, she gets upset with him. So he runs away to the Land of the Wild Things.
When he got there the main Wild Thing, Carol, (James Gandolfini) was breaking down the houses because his friend, K.W. was gone. Destroying them one after another. Max was happy to join him in his quest to ruin everything until the rest of the Wild Things got angry at him for destroying what they worked so hard to build.
He almost got eaten by the wild thing family until he promised the monsters that he had special powers and that he alone could make them happy. He could build a place for them where no sadness and no loneliness got in. That was their main concern, to keep out the loneliness. So they made him king.
He is then immersed in their family which is having a breakdown of it's own. Each wild thing seemed to be a part of his psyche at some point. There was the part that was scared and alone. There was that part that was confused and broken. There was the part that was angry and destructive. There was the part that was loving and only wanted everyone to be happy. There was the part that felt invisible and helpless. And there was the wild thing that just didn't say anything at all.
There was Max. He was all the wild things wrapped up in one little boy.
Max led them in a plan to build the perfect place to live. The place where they could live safe from the outside world. The place where no one could get in that they didn't want. But then he found himself letting others in. Carol's
feelings got hurt. He lost his temper. He stormed off.
He got angry when he found out that Max couldn't save him and that he really wasn't a king. He was just a little boy. He chase's him through the woods until Max is saved by K.W. He climbs through her mouth and waits inside her while she and Carol yell at each other. He listens to them argue. He can barely breathe. When he gets out he talks to K.W. She is so sad. Carol said mean things. Max said, "It's just cause he is scared. He didn't mean it." K.W. says, "It's just so hard to begin with. Why does he have to make it worse?"
I guess it's just life.
I have not read any review on this movie. At the end I did see that it was directed by Spike Jonze and the screenplay was by Dave Eggers, who wrote "A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius." I thought that was interesting because they are both so current and edgy.
I guess this movie could have gone a whole different way. It could have been a little boy with some sort of ADD or ADHD or just hopped up on to many lollipops and to much caffeine. He could have gone to the land of the wild things and had some zany adventures and then realized that he really did miss his family and gone home.
It could have gone like that.
It didn't though.
I think this was better. It's not a movie I would take a small child to see but in reality divorce and loneliness and all those other emotions are part of life. I think it could give people who might be going through anything like this a different view. It could possibly help. I think some people might be upset by it not being a sugary sweet adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book. I myself, thought it was helpful.
I will say, if you are the product of divorce or are going through a divorce or know anyone that has or is. You should see this movie.
It might even change how you think.
Even when it appears we are acting like monsters, we are actually just human, sometimes scared, sometimes lonely, sometimes lost, but really just human after all.