(Don’t) Let the wild rumpus start

On Oct. 16, Where The Wild Things Are, a beloved children’s book, came to life on the big screen.

The first 15 minutes showed the life of the main character, a little boy named Max. This beginning showed Max’s insecurities and the difficult relationships in his life.

According to the book, Max goes to his room and lets his imagination run wild, creating his own world. This is where the movie begins to differ from the nine lines in the book: Max takes off into the night after an intense fight with his mother. Eventually, he ends up in the woods where he clambers into an abandoned sailboat and sails off into dark waters.

The rest of the movie follows Max’s journey to an island where he finds giant monsters that are at least nine feet tall. One monster, Carol, is destroying the forest and says that no one understands him. This catches Max’s attention, as he relates to this problem. He jumps out of his hiding spot to help the monster destroy what he later finds out are the other monsters’ homes.

After the monsters threaten to eat Max, he tells them that he is a king and that he has special powers. They believe him and pronounce him their own king.

Relationships begin to build and each of the monsters begins to show a specific trait, such as Carol’s rage and Judith’s negativity (voiced by Catherine O’Hara). Alexander’s (voiced by Paul Dano) insecurities seem to mirror what Max felt in the beginning of the movie.
Perhaps the most interesting relationship was that between Carol and KW (voice by Lauren Ambrose), its portrayal clearly paralleling the problems between a mother and father.

Max seems to draw a connection between Carol and KW’s dysfunctional relationship and that of his parents because he tries to bring the two monsters back together.

Just as it seems that things will end well, everything begins to fall apart. The monsters begin to turn against one another when they find out that Max really is not a king and that he cannot save them. The violence culminates in Carol tearing off another monster’s arm and destroying his own vision for a better world.

I definitely think this movie is too violent and confusing for children elementary-age or younger. The “wild things” are appropriately named, as Carol destroys almost everything he can get his hands on and the other monsters show a wild side in the way they bicker and negatively interact with one another.

This movie is worth seeing, but only if you want to be left creating your own resolutions to the broken relationships between Max and his family and between the monsters themselves. Otherwise, avoid the violence in this movie, and opt to see something more family-friendly. Babysitters: be warned.

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