Where The Wild Things Are
Where The Wild Things Are

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 "Where The Wild Things Are" by Academy Award winning Filmmaker Spike Jonze is an adaptation of Maurice Sandak's classic children's tale. The movie brings to life the timeless book's vivid images and infuses them with deep emotions. 

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As in the book Max, the main character,  is a hyperactive boy who creates an imaginary world of wild monsters. They are huge. They have sharp claws, gnashing teeth and yellow eyes. But Max, the wildest of them all, conquers them and becomes their king.

Spike Jonze's complex film brings to life Maurice Sendak's book illustrations. But the filmmaker and screenwriter Dave Eggers enhance Sendak's short story with intricate characters and heavy dialogue.

Unlike the book, Max is not sent to his room as punishment for causing havoc. Instead, he runs away; That is, after he bites his mom on the shoulder. He finds himself in a wild world inhabited by bizzare and  emotionally conflicted creatures.


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Each monster represents an element of Max's psyche: Anger, jealousy, kindness,  loyalty, creativity. As Max's relationship with the creatures is unpredictable, exuberance and optimism give way to doubt and fear.

Eventually Max tames not only the monsters but their demons and comes out of his journey a better person.

The film's realistic cinematography, existential dialogue, edgy music and  destructive actionscenes could be unnerving for small children. But Spike Jonze would not have it any other way.

"I didn't set out to make a children's movie, I set out to make a movie about childhood," he says.

He achieves it with the help of a great cast that includes James Gandolfini, Catherine O' Hara, Forrest Whitaker, and Chris Cooper. They give voice to the creatures.

But the lead thespian is young Max Records. It's his first movie ever and it mainly rests on his small shoulders. Donning a wolf suit, Max becomes his character: a lonely, awkward boy who fights his fears with audacity.

And what does author Maurice Sendak say about Spike Jonze's movie? 
"It takes nothing from my book but enhances, enriches my book," he says.

The film strikes a chord with children because it captures their unbridled spirit. For adults, it takes us back before conformity and schedules, to a time when dreams ruled the day.