Moonrise Kingdom is an odd yet endearing, funny yet melancholic, innocent yet dark love story that is small in scale but big in impact.

Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore — and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle. – Focus Features

Moonrise Kingdom is an amusing contrast of sorts.

It has a simple love/adventure story laced with a warped sense of humor, and punctuated by surprising yet aptly placed violent scenes.

It revolves around an odd couple – two unpopular misfits who decided to run away together.

It’s located in a town with its own surprises, as secrets, schemes, and a boy scout troop that acts more like a military unit brew trouble underneath the facade of small town simplicity.

The film is precisely framed and influenced by the cartoon style of the Fantastic Mr. Fox. It was able to vividly capture the period of its time.

All of this make for a  charming, detailed, gorgeously shot and well executed film. It balances deadpan humor with melancholy, and reality with the surreal.

This is combined with great performances from the whole cast, but the two leads steal the show from the veterans. Bruce Willis has redeemed himself and Edward Norton is excellent. Tilda Swinton, who only had very few scenes in the movie, was able to stand out as the social service.

Moonrise Kingdom has everything that you want in a Wes Anderson film. It’s idiosyncratic but not quirky for quirkiness sake. The movie presents an exotic and offbeat world, but grounded by endearing characters and a universal theme – the joy and pains of growing up.

There’s not much depth, but its a small story with an unmistakable charm that can entertain grown-ups, kids, and Anderson fans and non-fans.

My Rating: 9/10

Movie Poster by Bethany Radloff

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