What To Watch: ‘Moonrise Kingdom’

Words by Jessica Rovniak.

For February’s theme of Young & Restless watch: Moonrise Kingdom.

I assume if you’re reading a publication that focuses completely on love; you too grew up a “romantic child.” Oh, how many of my childhood nights were spent fantasizing that Chad, from basketball camp, would come to my bedroom window and find my headgear endearing rather than terrifying…

For the young, the concept of love is stronger and wilder than that reality which we’ve come to accept in adulthood. Returning to that state of unapologetic belief in love is what Wes Anderson does with Moonrise Kingdom. Watching this movie will reinvigorate your belief in the strength, simplicity and mystery of young love.

The 2012 film follows the adventures of Sam Shakusky (played by Jared Gilman), the least popular Khaki Scout on the island of New Penzance, and Suzy Bishop (played by Kara Hayward), a strong, broody, and quiet girl who inspires her parents to purchase “Coping with The Very Troubled Child.” The two leave behind the lives where they never quite fit, to live together in the woods. Through whatever obstacle–being hunted by Khaki Scouts, record-breaking storms, parents–they persevere. Their adventure is the stuff of fantasy and everything you could ever hope for as a young lover.

Sam and Suzy’s unfaltering love, even in the face of what scares all grown-ups: marriage, is inspiring and beautiful. They find unadulterated bliss on the beach, where they share a first kiss. This scene perfectly emotes the discovery and honesty of young love.

In a world where so many stories end in heartbreak and tragedy, this movie stands out because, well, it doesn’t do that. You don’t walk away wanting to cut open your chest and let your heart slide to the floor. It doesn’t make you want to drink two bottles of red wine and smash the empties over your head. It makes you feel a feeling that honestly, you probably haven’t felt since you were young: fulfilled.

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