Monday, November 2, 2009

wild things part two

At first I didn't want to like it. Because Where the Wild Things Are was a favorite book, and I didn't want any of that magic tinkered with.

Then I wanted to like it. Because I was visiting family in California and my nephew Maxx (10) and my niece Zoë (5) loved it.

Some wild things...




Had to put my brother in there. He just fit so well.

When I didn't want to like it, I thought maybe I'd end up liking it, and that'd be a nice surprise. When I started to want to like it, I was afraid I wouldn't and then what would I say to Maxx and Zoë?

In the end, I had some mixed feelings, but overall I did like it. In a lot of ways, it has a light touch, which made me feel taken care of, since one of the things that is sweet about the book is its light touch. The portrayal of the wild things, to me, felt so real and so regular. There was something charming and engaging in the regularness of these monsters. And how that regularness blended with wild-thing-ness so that you could have

[did i mention? spoilers.]

Carol talking like an adult human, emoting like a child, and suddenly saying he might just eat his feet off.

What I didn't like as much? How Max runs away rather than letting his imagination create a forest out of his bedroom. Especially how he scales a cliff a la adventure movie to get to where the wild things are. And how the film does not end on supper that is still hot - which is the apex of the book's poetry.

On the other hand. I did like the very last moment in the film - getting to watch Max just watch his mother sleeping - which does encompass all that "and it was still hot" says, and more. That is a beautiful moment. And one that, again, is done with a light touch. The Max in me still wants to stomp my feet a bit about the departure, but because it has its own poetry, I'm happy with it.

Another lovely moment? Max under his mom's desk, plucking at her tights as she works.

I'll just mention one other moment and the thought I had watching it. When Max is running from Carol, and KW tells Max to climb in her mouth and hide in her stomach. Not at all in the book, of course, but this felt so Sendak to me. Not only because it reminded me of the part in We Are All In the Dumps With Jack and Guy when the moon saves the kittens by carrying them in its mouth, but because it contains that same kind of elegant fiendishness that I've always loved in Sendak's work.

No comments:

Post a Comment