October 19, 2009

. . . and it was still hot.

One of my favorite things in all of life is children's literature. Especially great children's literature. Maurice Sendak's "Where the Wild Things Are" earned the number one spot on my picture book list back when Kacey was a toddler. Having read it to both my children every single night of their young lives, even now, some 10 years past any regular reading of it, I can still quote each page.

"The night Max wore his wolf suit,
and made mischief of one kind, and then another,
his mother called him 'Wild Thing!'
And Max said, "I'll eat you up!'"

I have been anticipating the movie for quite some time now, and it did not disappoint. Wild Things was not at all what I expected, and it is most definitely not a children's movie. It is deep and dark, heavy with troubled relationships and characters who portray each and every one of us at some point in our lives: angry, neglected, negative, hurt, quiet, needy. But it is also thought-provoking and hopeful and emotional.

This movie didn't play down to its audience, didn't feel the need to explain itself or make excuses. It portrayed, through the eyes of a hurting and confused Max, a way to deal with the reality in his life by running away into fantasy.

"That very night in Max's room
a forest grew, and grew, and grew
until his ceiling hung with vines
and the walls became the world all around.
And an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max.
And he sailed off through night and day
and in and out of weeks
and almost over a year
to where the wild things are."

I loved the imagery of home in this movie . . . the igloo, the fort in his bedroom, the "sleeping pile", the Wild Things fortress. Places of comfort and happiness that came crashing in with a word, an action, a threat. Places of security that, in a mere moments, became places of suffocation.

'And Max, the king of all wild things,
was lonely and wanted to be where someone
loved him best of all.'

And while the movie took great liberties with the story, taking it from whimsical to near melancholy, it stayed wonderfully true to the illustrations and the eccentric feel of Sendak's story. When the "wild rumpus starts", the sounds the movie creatures made were some of the sounds I made up myself when they
"roared their terrible roars and
gnashed their terrible teeth and
rolled their terrible eyes and
showed their terrible claws."

Max's theatrical journey left me in tears, and I completely loved everything about it.

"And he sailed back over a year
and in and out of weeks
and through a day
and into the night of his very own room,
where he found his supper waiting for him
. . . and it was still hot."

1 comment:

*Lindsay*Jordan* said...

oooo im so glad its a good movie. I want to watch it soo bad. I loved that book. It's still in my dresser, i couldnt get rid of it...