Posted by Nicholas Rapp on June 5, 2012 at 4:16 pm
Long story short – you’ve got to see this movie. Short story long…
This is a film about boy scouts set on an island off the coast of New England, and set in the 1960s. In this story, Wes Anderson has created a world I can assume most people will be unfamiliar with. A world, as always with Anderson films, composed of people the likes of which most people will be unfamiliar with. Anderson isn’t trying to make a film to reflect the lives of the common masses, to touch home with viewers everywhere, to please the most people – no. He’s putting out a story that he connects to – a piece of him – and he is sharing that story with us. It’s not our story at all, and that’s okay. There are enough stories out there that make you say “hey, this sounds a lot like my situation.” It’s refreshing to see something so unthinkably new.
It is a love story concerning a boy scout and a troubled child. BOY scout. Troubled CHILD. Anderson has made a movie starring children! And these kids are great, really. The main character – Sam – is played by Jared Gilman, and this little guy has a Marlon Brando swag like I have never seen on a little guy. You can’t make out exactly the ends of his sentences, and he mumbles like a pro. In the most confident way. Him and the girl both have a very screw – eloquence way of speaking, and it’s refreshing because it appeared that they were acting from a natural place. He was a troubled child because his parents died and his foster parents didn’t even want him. So, yeah, he can be a bit melancholy. But he’s never sorry for himself. He’s something of a hero child, and his love for this girl – Suzy – is so spot on what every guy feels at that age for the first time. “She’s the one. I want to be with her forever.” There was something so perfect about Suzy. Like she was Anderson’s dream girl as a pre-teen. Because she’s a young character, she can’t be corrupted by elements like sex. The love story is as pure as it gets.
But what makes a Wes Anderson film so good is his meticulous attention to detail. I absolutely loved the pants Bill Murray’s character wore. A rich depressed father off the coast of New England would wear those pants. But more than that, I liked seeing all the boy scouts stuff. These kids were pros, they made being a boy scout look like literally the coolest thing you could do. I was asking myself all throughout the movie “why didn’t I ever sign up for boy scouts.” You see Sam pulling luggage up a cliff by way of an intricate rope system, catching fish to eat, setting up tents, using a compass, and canoeing down rivers. Oh and there’s this tree house that is extremely high up, it’s really neat looking.
Ed Norton and Bruce Willis have big parts, which is new for an Anderson film. They do their roles justice. So Owen and Luke weren’t a part of this film. It disappointed me, yes. But Bill Murray and Jason Schwartzman are! It’s just… not about them. This one is about the kids. And the movie is going to make you remember what it was like to be a kid, and in a very adult way.