Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Where the Wild Things Are

Courtesy of Bearotic.com

This past weekend I watched Where the Wild Things Are. I didn't expect much from it honestly. I LOVED the book as a child, but the previews left me feeling sad that this movie was geared more towards our generation than towards kids today. I thought it would be sad, dark, and gloomy. Still I had to see it for myself. And I was pleasantly surprised. This movie was full of so much good stuff! It wasn't necessarily a "feel good" movie, but in the end, I still thought, "Man, that was brilliant." Here's some of what I got out of it...

This is a great movie for parents to see. And here's the counselor in me talking... Kids have a hard time expressing their emotions. This is seen when Max jumps on the table in defiance or runs into his sister's room throwing it into chaos to express his anger and feelings of betrayal. Some friends commented on how helpful this movie was just in understanding how their own kids express themselves. I've never seen childhood captured so vividly and authentically.

There's a child in all of us. Even though I'm an adult now, I still found myself identifying with Max - and the other creatures for that matter. Reading reviews of the movie, I now realize that these "wild things" were meant to be extensions of Max, parts of his psyche. While their humor appeals to adults, these creatures interacted as children. The emotions in them and Max are abrupt, ranging from pure glee to intense anger and even sadness. This reviewer said it well. "These beasts are the manifestations of our sorrow, our frustration, and our demons; they are the voices living within us, kept down by self-control and overcome by happiness and love. However, when those emotions are brought to life, unchecked, the end result can be nothing short of war, retribution, and malice. It becomes the duty of young Max, the creator of this imaginary world, to not only discover the love he has waiting back at home, but also to defeat the anger that has been bubbling to the surface, allowing him to even bite his mother in this cinematic version. We all need some time to let loose and run wild—howling to the moon—it is what we do after the burst of energy subsides that counts. Sometimes looking into a mirror is the only chance we have of becoming the people we should and hope to be" (IMDB). Though we have learned to "control" our emotions now, I think we can all identify with the qualities the creatures portrayed - whether its spontaneity, jealousy, pride, sorrow, or joy. The way these different "parts" were portrayed was intriguing and enlightening.

Finally, I love how this film showed how hard being in a family can be. Sometimes we don't get along or feel understood. Disputes happen. Relationships are work. And families are often the most work. But they're worth it. No matter how angry we get within our families, we still love them.

If you saw this movie, I'm dying to know your thoughts!

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