Despite a scraggly beard that shares the consistency of a porcupine’s quill, I was once a child. Though that soul may have died with pubescence, I remember an idyll world that beamed when I was happy and that cried when I cried. I remember developing a universe that centered around me because as far as I could tell, I was indeed that center. And I remember feeling nothing was particularly important because everything was.
Moonrise Kingdom, a film by Wes Anderson, is exactly this – a moment, a feeling, an entire worldly existence of childhood captured in the amber of film. At the very surface, it is no more a story of two children wrapped in the unadulterated swirl of pre-sexual fantasies and love. They elope, as loosely as that word can be applied. They try to find their paradise, Moonrise. And they dance around in underpants when time permits.
It is entirely unrealistic. A consistently aesthetic universe somehow contains the foibles of the major characters – characters that often reach a spiritual equilibrium without consulting the terms of good and evil. But that is the point.
Beyond the fantastic picturesque scenery and the inescapable moral scruples describing a world that seems anything but moral, it is a movie about what it means to be children.
It is about the limitations of time in the desire for unlimited aspirations, about when imagination is free from the dissatisfaction and realism of adulthood, about the triumphs in simply living fully rather than filling up our time with seemingly triumphant endeavors.
At its very core, it is about the world – our world – constrained only by on our ingenuity, not by what we know. Because as children we know nothing, and that means everything.
Now as I type here as a presupposed adult with worries, debts, and an ever-growing anxiety, I know this film is good. My inner child tells me as much.
By: Kacper Niburski