On October 16thMoonrise Kingdom will be available on Blu-ray and DVD. I recently checked out the film directed by Wes Anderson. If you are not familiar with Anderson’s work he is known for films like Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, and Fantastic Mr. Fox. The cast of Kingdom is well known. Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis, and Harvey Keitel head up the all-star cast, but the two main characters Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward steal the show. (Please note there are a few spoilers in this review.)
The film takes place in the year of 1965 and is on the island of New Penzance. It centers around two 12 year old kids, Sam Shakusky (Gilman) and Suzy Bishop (Hayward). Upon a chance meeting the two become pen pals and create a plan to runaway. Sam is an orphan that is at summer camp and is always getting picked on by the other scouts. Suzy does not like her family or school and desperately wants to get away.
Scout Master Randy Ward (Norton) notices that Sam is not in camp and leads the rest of the scouts on a rescue mission to find Sam. Suzy’s parents Walt (Murray) and Laura (Frances McDormand) learn that Suzy ran away and gets Police Captain Sharp (Willis) to bring her home. You come to find out that Sharp and Laura have an ongoing affair, but Walt doesn’t seem to be bothered by it too much.
The dialogue is fantastic especially between Sam and Suzy. Wes Anderson brilliantly takes you inside the minds of two 12 year old kids. As the two kids chat you can see the innocence, humor, and a search for identity in these two characters. They have an “us against the world” mentality which sparks their desire to leave the scout camp and home life. Along their journey they talk about their dreams and try to understand the other’s pain from either being an orphan or not wanting to be in a family. At one point Suzy tells Sam that she would love to be an orphan. Sam tells her that being an orphan is not so glamorous.
After a long and crazy search the Sam and Suzy are found. Suzy’s parents are humiliated, while Scout Master Ward sees the good in what Sam did by surviving in the “wild” using the skills he learned at camp. To not give away too much, the ending is great to see how people on the island react to keep the status quo. Moonrise Kingdom is an entertaining film and the acting is very enjoyable. The Blu-ray and DVD has great special feature such as a set tour given by Bill Murray, a few documentaries on the film, and a digital copy.