Where the Wild Things Are

I recently came across the new trailer for Where the Wild Things Are. There’s a lot of buzz about this movie, and it has kind of reached a fever-pitch status with the twenty- and thirty-somethings who grew up with the book. The book is marvelous, and I grew up with it like everybody else, but I never had any particular fervor for it. So when I heard a year or two ago that there was a movie being made I took notice but did not commence full-fledged surveillance mode to keep track of the status of the film’s production (like I have with the film version of The Road, which stttttiiiiiillllll doesn’t have a release date). I did hear early on, however, that Dave Eggers was writing the script, which gave me hope and piqued my interest a little more. Nevertheless, all this is to say that when I clicked on the play button for the trailer it was not with a heightened sense of glee and anticipation.

However.

The movie looks spectacular. The cinematography and effects look incredible. I had chills throughout the entire preview, and I usually approach movie previews with a bit of cynicism and heightened sensitivity for emotional manipulation (much like when I watch Olympic broadcasts, where the emotional manipulation washes over you with all the subtlety of a tsunami). I think my new fervor has to do with a couple things. One, throughout the past year I have been reading the book to Charlie at night at least once a week, and he is at the point now where he has a strong grasp of the language and the images; he often even finishes the sentences for us. Although I think his strongest connection with the themes of the story are still far ahead of him, reading the story with him gives me a heady sense of the pathos of the story—the power of imagination, the true nature of familial love, the relationship between the two, and how imagination helps you cope with the harshness of reality and then to grow up and become an adult. The movie, at least from what I can tell of the trailer, picks up on these themes and develops them into a longer, fuller story. Consequently I get all weepy when I just watch the trailer. Yes. I have been manipulated. On top of this, the images of the trailer are overdubbed with the song “Wake Up” by the Arcade Fire, which perfectly and poignantly encapsulates these same themes.

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