Here there be wild things

When I think of the movie Where The Wild Things Are, I will think of Sam wiping his eyes, flat palmed with both hands, as he cried at the end.

{please don't go...I'll eat you up, I love you so...}

I noticed it from the corner of my eye and tried to give him the courtesy of not noticing. But tears sprang to my eyes (these things being contagious) and I thought Well, of course. Sam is Max, pretty much. Or was. His imagination. His emotions. His wild and tender ways. His affinity for me and home (where someone loved him best of all...). His sometimes loneliness as his older sisters (although reluctantly) abandon him to play in the world of childhood & make believe alone.

Sam is well acquainted with the wild things and where they are. Spike Jonze has said that he intended to create a movie that captured the book's spirit and what it is like to be a nine-year-old boy. Sam got that. He's not nine anymore but he recognized the geography of that age and connected with it.

Not everyone in the theater did. There was a three-year-old behind us who, after the first monster scene, said I don't want to see this movie anymore (it really isn't for younger kids...Pixar it's not). A few people grumbled under their breaths as we shuffled out of the theater that it wasn't what they expected, wasn't a kids' movie, was quiet and strange*.

Well, yes. I can see that. But it made me want to ask, "have you really read the book?" and "do you really remember what it's like to be a child?" There are scary emotions and swift boats to tantrums. There are rumpuses (rumpi?) and imperfect families and journeys back to forgiveness. There's moodiness and confusion and questions and thin, thin boundaries between delight and disappointment. Everything looms large and so wholly determined by other people's agendas. That's The Point.

It's not like anything you've seen. It is weird. Please though, if you go, just get in the boat, let go, and let the wild rumpus start. It's a great (and trippy) ride.

*then again, there were adult WTWTA fans dressed in footie pajamas and zigzag crowns at the theater, too. They seemed happy with it.