Review: ‘Moonrise Kingdom’

Friday, Feb. 1 –

“Moonrise Kingdom” is an utterly fantastic indie, romantic comedy that follows the relationship of two eccentric twelve-year-olds who fall in love on the fictitious island of New Penzance.

After sneaking backstage during a theatrical reenactment of Noah’s Arc, khaki scout, Sam Shakusky, encounters Suzy Bishop and her peers in their dressing room. While all of the girls are dressed as vibrantly colored birds, Suzy is dressed as a black raven – a color that perfectly showcases her stoic personality, as well as her striking blue eyes. The two then enter into a period of pen pal courtship, during which they plot an elaborate scheme to elope into the wilderness.

Sam’s khaki troop and Suzy’s parents quickly discover the couple’s letters and set out to track them down. The search party subsequently overtakes the duo, and Suzy’s parents forbid her from ever seeing young scout again.

Meanwhile, Sam’s foster parents refuse to take him back after he is kicked out of scouts, and Social Services arranges to send him to a federal institution. Upon returning to their camp, Shakusky’s fellow khakis feel guilty about separating the odd couple, and plan to take them to a camp on a nearby island, where they are “married” by an older scout.

When a major storm approaches the island, the newlyweds and their khaki protectors seek refuge in the local church. Suzy’s parents, Sam’s scout leader, the Police Captain, and Social Services representative arrive and chase the pair onto the church roof. Atop the steeple, Sam and Suzy join hands and vow their everlasting love. The Police Chief then offers to adopt Sam so that he and Suzy can remain together, halting them from jumping to their untimely death.

Throughout “Moonrise Kingdom”, the performances of actors Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward, who play Sam and Suzy respectively, portray their bond of social ineptitude in a way that is equally humorous and sympathetic.

Sam Shakusky is a shrimpy, orphaned khaki scout with glasses and a glaring lisp who enjoys painting watercolors (“mostly landscapes, but a few nudes”). Suzy Bishop is a lanky red head with an anger problem, who enjoys reading and has an unhealthy attachment to her binoculars. At first glance, the characters of Sam and Suzy both seemed to be those that stereotypically merit the caption “forever alone”.

However, when these aloof individuals find love, it is an inspirational reminder that love is out there and can hit us when we least expect it.



-Alex Mediavilla

Staff Writer

The Prowl