My love for the movie will probably always have more to do with the idea of it and the words describing it's vision than the film itself, as much as I loved it.
I was beside myself when I first saw the preview for Where the Wild Things Are. I didn't particularly love the book as a kid, but the preview was magical, mysterious, enchanting... especially, for me, the verbiage in it.
"Inside all of us is hope.
Inside all of us is fear.
Inside all of us is adventure.
Inside all of us is a wild thing."
You know I love that kind of talk. Well I waited and waited for the movie, and in the past couple months more interviews and then reviews came out about it. A deeper picture evolved of what I was waiting to see.
One reviewer was so poetic in his description, that I want to save some of his words forever...
"This is not a film defined by bits and bytes and the clicking of a thousand computer mice; it is a world of wood and wind and wave, of sunlight and stone. "Where the Wild Things Are" feels, for lack of a better or less ironic term, handcrafted, and that makes it something quiet and true, like a campfire song played on acoustic guitar."
"a world of wood and wind and wave, of sunlight and stone." I want that to describe my world. More natural, more handcrafted, more true. I couldn't wait to see the movie even more.
Then in a GQ article, an interview the Spike Jonze, the director, he had this to say about his realization of the concept he could center the movie around:
“It just hit me that wild things could be wild emotions,” says Jonze. “It was that simple of an idea. And all of a sudden, it seemed infinite where I could go from there.”
“As a kid, that was really scary and confusing—both the wild emotions in me and the wild emotions in the people around me,” he says. “Unpredictable emotions, positive or negative—you don’t know where they’re coming from, you don’t know what they mean. Especially negative emotions. Your own behavior—you don’t know why you’re acting a certain way and it scares you, or you don’t know why somebody else is acting a certain way and it scares you. Big emotions that are unexplained are really scary. At least to me. I guess it’s anger, or sadness, guilt—or guilt for being angry, you know."
He nailed it. Wild emotions... they are incredibly scary. My worst memories as a child are the confusion and sadness that came from the occasional intense and unpredictable emotions of the adults around me. My worst memories as an adult are moments of dealing with overwhelming sadness, loneliness, and despair... these emotions in great doses are terrifying. You cry and it's not better. You drive and yell and hit the steering wheel and it's not better.
How lucky are we that there are brilliant creative minds working who can put vision and art together in such a moving and beautiful format; a format that communicates to both children and adults everywhere the things we can't always express by ourselves. The movie, as promised, was lovely, mesmerizing, genuine, and very scary.