The year is 1965 and a resourceful young boy abandons his scouts’ camp–the Khaki Scouts–and runs off to meet the girl he has a crush on. They’re now on the lam; they’re runaways, and a search party is sent. The kids, who are just barely pubescent and get somewhat physically intimate, claim to love each other. Naturally the adults want them separated, but they do receive help from their peers, the Khaki Scouts, but this has limited results.
Here we have the central action in Wes Anderson’s weird new film, Moonrise Kingdom (2012), a terrifically made, entrancingly childlike opus. Aside from implications about the earth-shaking Sixties in America, though, the movie has essentially nothing to say. It delights with its fey foursquare visuals–and what an opening sequence!–but it carries no moral or intellectual heft. It’s a superficial comedy, but at any rate it’s funny and unique.
It has been noted that Anderson, who is fond of Peanuts, dresses Kara Hayward (who plays the pubescent girl) like the Little Red-Haired Girl. He’s also fond of pop music, and Moonrise Kingdom is, I think, sort of the cinematic equivalent of a pop song. That is, it’s jaunty and straightforward and about young love.
I don’t care for the dull performances of Miss Hayward and Jared Gilman, however. Oh, well.