Ian Fastert’s review published on Letterboxd:
Is my favorite film of all time losing it's hold on me?
If it is, I have no idea how to deal with that. I got home from my screening of Moonrise Kingdom (I saw it in a theater for the first time in 5 years) and just broke down into full ugly tears. I can't accept that my tastes may be changing, I can't accept that I'm changing, I just want to be a kid.
Growing up. How does anyone do it?
When I first saw Moonrise Kingdom in 2012, I just wanted to be free, to be able to run away with the girl I loved, to go on adventures. And to see a movie take all those thoughts and show me how amazing that would be, how beautiful it looked like, was unlike anything I'd seen before. How often does a movie just feel like your inner thoughts put to film? And every time I'd watch Moonrise Kingdom, I'd find a new brilliant thing to love, and I'd just feel...happy. It felt like it was 2012 again.
That didn't happen this time. The last part anyway. I found something new to love this time for sure, but the thing was sign of me being 5 years older than I was when I first saw. This time the character I felt most relatable to was Captain Sharp, a sad, dumb, but endearing policeman.
Before it was always Sam. I was always Sam, but now I feel like I missed my chance to be Sam. I'm too old, if fucked up every relationship i thought was true love, and I'm just not daring enough to be Sam. I never was there. I'm really, really lame. I can't speak up for myself, I can't say what I want to say, I worry too much. My heart won't ever calm the fuck down, and I just want to relax.
Sam and I only share one thing in common now; we're in love (And I guess I also do Boy Scouts but whatever.) But..most of the characters of Moonrise Kingdom are in love, and I somehow never noticed that. It's just that everyone else's love is completely miserable.
Is that what the real message of Moonrise Kingdom has been the whole time? That only kids really can find happiness in love, because they don't know the pains, or the responsibilities? Am I just in a really nihilistic mood?
Well the second one is true, but I think I'm wrong on the first one, even if I felt completely confident in it leaving the theater. At the end of Moonrise Kingdom, everyone begins to heal. The kids are left in a happy place, The Bishop's marriage is beginning to reform, The Captain has a son now, and even Scoutmaster Ward has someone to love. The movie ends with a beginning.
The real story isn't about the kids being in love, as I always thought it was. I was thinking selfishly, like I was the main character of the story, that I was the hero.. The real story is about the love between two children healing a group of people who are completely lost when it comes to love. Somewhere along the way, they forgot something, and at the point of the story we come in at, no one seems truly happy. But two kids and their daring plan to run away from everyone's sadness managed to heal all of that, or at least set it on the course for healing.
Things are okay at the end. At least, for now.
Anyway, why am I Captain Sharp? Because he's in love with someone who can't love him back!
(side note, I literally watched the movie sitting next to that person and ouch)
Plus he's sad and lonely and not terribly smart but at least he's loyal! He'll stand up for the people he cares about, that means something, right?
After all that analysis in the middle of the review, I realized that I was not wrong about Moonrise Kingdom. It is still my favorite movie, it is still the masterpiece I watched 5 years ago, it is still the most important film I have watched.
Just...now it's for different reasons. And that the film is managing to grow up with me really shows how magical it really is. Moonrise Kingdom is funny, it's poignant, it's pure happiness sometimes but other times it's the most empty feeling alive, it's love, it's pain, it's what it feels to be alive, and I can't think of any other movie that evokes all those emotions in me like Moonrise Kingdom does.
I can't help but go back to the comparison between Captain Sharp and I. Is he the best at his job? No. Am I the best at reviewing? GOD NO. Does he get frustrated at himself for not being better? Of course. Does he give up?
I guess I shouldn't either. Even if I write garbage half of the time. Thank you all, for supporting me while I figure out my life and where I'm going.
We’re getting to know each other better. I feel like I’m in a family now.