I had mixed feelings when I heard my favorite childhood book was being turned into a movie. At first I was thrilled! I felt like a kid again, and was overwhelmingly giddy imagining the wild things on the big screen. But then I was kind of scared! What if the film makers mess it up? I would never forgive them.
So I waited for it to come out in South Africa, but it didn’t before I left for my two-month “holiday”. So I thought I would catch it in the States, but it was already off the circuit by the time I got there. And people I came across who had seen it had indifferent opinions if dislike. I knew I shouldn’t just trust what I hear and I should wait to see it myself.
I finally got my opportunity last weekend, and I was definitely not disappointed! I thought Spike Jonze did an amazing job of bringing the children’s book to life on the big screen; a task that I can imagine is as tricky as turning a nursery rhyme into an entire Broadway Musical. Max, played by (ironically enough a kid named) Max Records was brilliant, and the Wild Things were perfect manifestations of monsters that might live in the average angry young boys mind.
I loved the way Jonze was able to bring across the irrational neediness of an angry child through the characterization of the wild things. I realize that it was “different”, and maybe not what people were expecting, and maybe not a typical children’s movie, but I believe people who complained about it being “weird” and “no good” missed the point of the movie and maybe forgot that majority of the film was taking place not in a far off fairy tale land nor a real land, but in the mind of an angry, irrational, needy young boy who does not know how to show his emotion and is starving for attention.
I give it two wild thing thumbs up!