Thursday, November 12, 2009

Max and the Wild Things by Maurice Sendak

After so much anticipation from my young son Finn we finally made it to the local theatre to see "Where the Wild Things Are" on the big screen. There are many things I am certain about in life one being the hours of pleasure my sons and I have enjoyed falling into the pages of this classic tale. For me as a young child it was the illustrations that reached out and pulled me into the world of Max and his Wild Things I think partly because my interest is aroused first from an artist perspective and really how can you not LOVE the master illustrations in this book.

Now, on to the heavy stuff. The stuff is keeping me up at 4:00am pondering life again because of the viewing of this movie. I asked my teenager who had seen the movie the night before not to fill me in on the details of the flick as I wanted to be "surprised"!

Surprised I was.

Indeed I did not expect the content or the adaptation of this book to be so grim and depressing filled with so many issues I dealt with as a young child like being raised by a single parent living a lonely life burning inside for attention from my parent. Also the strong story line revolved around the depression that the "Wild Things" lived under and the anger they were controlled by when Carol was mad, oh and yes, the depressing thought that the Sun is going to die...

For me the book shared with my children was magic with my thoughts always preferring the content to be happy. Maybe the movie seemed dark to me as when I was a child I lived in a house where we were all controlled by anger watching my mother and us be abused by one persons emotions??? So when the bitter dark side of the Wild Things developed as well as the anger that Carol exhibited when hurt brought me to a place that I know all too well.

I thought the movie to be dark and depressing even though I can respect and admire the wonderful job done with the costumes and emotions portrayed by the characters...Max was a fantastic roll played by Max Records...and the movie itself had a dream scape quality equal to independent films.

Maybe the movie did for me exactly what the director wished it to do for viewers? I just left the theatre feeling sad, lonely and depressed the exact opposite of how I feel when I close the pages of the book.

Don't know how Spike Jonze wanted me to feel but I will revert back to my own interpretation of this classic...

My happy place with the Wild Things!


4 comments:

Mindy Lacefield said...

i feel the same way christina. i thought it depressing and grim. it was not what i expected at all. glad that someone else feels the same as i do because i just keep hearing rave reviews....(and yes, like you said the costumes, etc were fantastic....)

JUNKER JANE said...

Christina, I TOTALLY agree with you!! And I haven't even seen the movie! The preview looks depressing as hell and I just didn't get tht from the book....

My sisters saw it but for some reason they saw the book that way...go figure. Hopefully when I see the movie I can keep the two seperate and still retain the happy magical adventure feeling I got from the book :D

C.R. said...

I think people might find our opinions Jane somewhat odd as our creativity screams creepy in the items we create!!

Loving all things creepy and dark I was extremely blown away that I would feel this way about the movie....I guess it is not what I expected.
The tone of the movie is very sad and depressing but the costumes are SUPER fab for sure!
C.

katie said...

i was deeply moved by the movie, i cried through much of it and sobbed when i got out of the theater and felt safe to let it out. it touched into issues that were painful growing up, they were all of a sudden raw and right on the surface again. my husband, who was watching it with me felt none of those things, nor did my adult children and a few others i have asked. i was surprised....