Moonrise Kingdom is the story of two twelve year old social misfits on a wilderness adventure. The film takes place in 1965 on a small island called New Penzance off the New England coast. Unique in its cinematography and story line, the script is awkwardly enthralling.
Packed with big names like Edward Norton, Bruce Willis and Bill Murray, the movie is not what you might expect. The big guns take a back seat and let the two young actors take the limelight. Sam, played by Jared Gilman and Suzy (Kara Hayward) are awkward both in appearance and personality, perfectly portraying two kids who don’t fit the prescribed ideals of American society.
As pen pals Sam and Suzy devise a plan to meet in the middle of the remote island with a few prized possessions. He brings his camping equipment and scout knowledge while she takes her cat, a record player, and books. A looming storm has her family and his Scout leader increasingly worried about their whereabouts as they disperse in different directions to find the runaways.
Trying to steer clear of all the people they hate, Sam and Suzy find solace in each other’s company as they make their way towards a secluded beach. Despite one weird, nearly sex scene, their adventures are sweet and innocent, representative of those we all had as youngsters. Finding their way in the wilderness and learning to love each other despite a few hiccups makes for a lovely little chronicle of childhood.
The wonderful soundtrack and untouched scenery gives a calm and peaceful feel to the film. Despite a looming catastrophic storm, the story unfolds in a fury of emotional events that eventually leads to the runaways being captured and order is restored to the island. Directed by Wes Anderson, this is an eyebrow-raising quirky film that will make you feel uncomfortable and content all at once.