Set in the 1960’s in a little community that feels similar to those in Dr Seuss films (except very slightly more realistic!) it’s a funny, cute love story that in many ways lots of us can relate to.
The film opens inside a large suburban home, with the camera panning slowly and smoothly through its cross-section. The positioning of the camera makes it feel like we’re looking into a dolls house, spying on the people inside and watching them go about their lives. The scenery is all well furnished and decorated, there’s something magical about a film that lets us delve into a little microcosm that’s bright and cheerful to look at and completely unlike reality.
The film centres around orphaned scout Sam who becomes pen-pals with Suzy, a girl who seemingly has everything. Both of them dissatisfied with their lives they decide to run away together, and end up falling in love.
It’s a very cute, contrived love story and its completely non-offensive and easy to watch, however the photography, colours and scenery make it that bit more special. The film all the way through has a yellowish tinge, and the colour yellow stands out in almost every scene which makes it warm and cheerful. I suppose in some ways this reinforces the idea of childhood innocence and young love, and the bliss that is growing up and discovering yourself.
There are some great performances, particularly from the young actors. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, who played young lovers Sam and Suzy, are fantastic leading actors. Tilda Swinton makes an appearance as social services, and proves once again that she’s a talented and versatile actress, in a completely different role to that of ‘We Need to Talk About Kevin’.
It’s cleverly shot and constructed and beautiful to watch, with a perfect balance between clever filmmaking and fun. We feel for the adolescent protagonists, and root for them all the way through. It’s ultimately a film for adults but it’s focus on teenagers and it’s bright and fresh feel could also appeal to and engage children. The childish innocence of the film is endearing and warm, and many of us can probably relate to it. The first kiss on the beach is charming and intimate, and avoids being too cheesy or cringey which could easily have happened.
‘Moonrise Kingdom’ is sweet and innocent and easy to watch. There are some great performances, and it’s nice to see Brice Willis as a kindly local police man, a role quite different to his usual. It’s a film for adults with a childishness that makes it great escapism, and it’s beautifully well filmed to boot.