Sunday, September 13, 2009

Living on the Wild Side

In only one month my most anticipated movie of 2009 hits theaters, Spike Jonze's Where the Wild Things Are. I think it's unfair to say that I am simply excited for this film, I'm ecstatic. It's the type of film in which I love to watch, the type of film in which I want to make someday. There is something about the children's fantasy genre that just seems to speak to me. Course this is not why I am writing about all this, I am writing in response to the New York Magazine article which surfaced earlier this week about Spike Jonze and his latest.

The article writer, Saki Knafo, was treated to an early cut of the film. The writer sighted that the film lacked any clear plot and had no clear resolution. And to that is what I am writing about today.

The book upon which the film is based is only ten sentences and ten pictures long. The book did not have a deep plot, it was full of character and attitude, the attitude of a 9-year old child. As well, even if a movie doesn't have a big plot element, such as we need to save the world and kill the bad guy, doesn't mean that it has no plot. Any movie, no matter how esoteric, if it still has a narrative has a plot of some sort. Where the Wild Things Are may not have your typical fairy tale plot, but what I expect it does have is a plot all about the characters, who they are, and their relationships amongst one another.

In the same article when the writer gave director Spike Jonze their minimal quips, Spike seemed to reply graciously by stating something similar to what I just said, that their goal in making the film was to make the film through the eyes of a 9-year old. In these regards it sounds as if Spike has nailed the book and its very essence. While many cynical adults may not be child-like enough to believe, all have imaginations, and Spike is just trying to get us all to believe once more. That is perhaps why the writer of the article was not too keen on Spike's adaptation, they have forgotten what it's like to be a child.

The main reason I have written all of this is because many fanboys across the internet are now freaking out, fearing that the film will not be any good. Take this all in stride. It's one person's opinion, and they didn't necessarily hate it, they just thought it was very unconventional. Now of course I have yet to see the film, and I might feel a tad let down when I finally see it, but I have been highly impressed by everything I've seen thus far and I am confident in Jonze's abilities to tell a very beautiful tale about childhood. So that settles everything for me, and it should for any other worriers out there. October 16th cannot come fast enough.

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