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Ang reaction paper na umubos ng lahat ng reaksyon ko buong gabi.

PS. Watch Where the Wild Things Are. Great movie!

Reaction Paper: Where the Wild Things Are
Art, Cinema, Narration

          Where the Wild Things Are is a uniquely interesting motion picture. It may be based on a children’s book but it is not actually a movie that I would want to recommend to kids. I cannot even strictly classify the motion picture into one genre. It has a complicated package but I still believe that it did not make the film any less interesting.

          Honestly, I had to watch the film twice just to absorb everything from it. The first time served as my stepping stone to fully grasp what the movie is all about. The questions that came off my head the first time I watched the film were somehow answered as I watched it again. Max, who was used to getting the full attention of his mom and sister, did not know what to do when his mom had a new man in her life and his sister with her male friends. I figured out his need for attention when I noticed how he doodled in the opening credits of the movie. He is an imaginative boy who brought himself to his imagined world. He wanted to be in a place where he will be heard, where he has the authority, where he simply rules. The smooth transition between reality and imagination made me wonder whether everything indeed happened or not. I almost lost it. Maybe that is one of the reasons why I could not recommend the movie to the kids –they may miss the sleek border and lose it all. The movie was also organized carefully so that everything will keep up with the audience’s flow of thoughts, thus making the mode of narration communicative but subjective.     

          Where the Wild Things Are is an eccentric motion picture in many ways –from its unpredictable mode of narration, down to its unusual combination of real characters, costumes, animations and graphics. Expressive realism created much room for the main character’s imagined plots which somehow made few parts of the narrative vague. Compared movies like Romeo + Juliet wherein the ending can already be seen from its beginning and the characters are strongly identified, Where the Wild Things Are makes the audience guessing of how the movie will end and even left the ending for the audience to fill in.   

          The movie also has some similarities with how Filipino independent films are presented. Like for instance, comparing it with the Filipino independent film Babaylan, the ending was also left for the audience to figure out. It was also vague, with unclear motive along the way. But one could also identify that the narration of the movie is also built on conflict, just like the typical Hollywood movies. The approach of the movie was light and comical unlike the mainstream film Romeo + Juliet which has a clear intention of giving a serious and tragic mood behind the romantic feeling to its audience.

          It also encourages its audience to have a critical approach to its narration. Critical thinking is indeed essential to fully understand a movie’s narration. A simple go-with-the-flow type of viewing will make the audience miss the message that the makers try to give to its audience. The movie is highly symbolic and emotional. Every character in Max’s imagined world magnifies him –his ego, his imperfections, his desires, and his conscience. And critical thinking is stimulated for the audience to fully comprehend what every aspect of the narration symbolizes.

          Being based on a children’s book, I could say that the makers of the film tried their best to keep the narration as close to the original publication as possible. The characters were presented based on how they were described in the book. However, critical differences could be sited in terms of its narration. From the book, Max started his imaginative and mythical journey from his room after he was told that he already became wild while in that of the movie, he ran off from his mom after he was told that he was out of control. The “wild things” were also presented as creatures that are not suitable for young minds based from their appearance and violence, which contradict the idea of the book being a children’s story. The descriptive style of written literary arts is another difference. Since written literary arts don’t have the luxury of visual presentation, it lives and die with how the writer make the words come to life. For the motion pictures, the writers do not have to put everything on the script since facial expressions can make up for the lost words. And sometimes, words not spoken are more powerful, more meaningful.

          Artists by far are vital in making art as a medium of awareness for the society to assess human existence across time. Since art caters a wide range of audience because of its audio, visual or audio-visual presentations, dissemination of knowledge and information is much easier. The creative and artistic mode of presentation spearheaded by the artists also attracts attention from the audience thus traditions evident in the motion pictures could easily be picked up by the viewers and eventually be absorbed into their everyday living. Artists could also take advantage of the technological advancements of the present time to fill in the pieces in between the narration hence, an innovative and modern appreciation for films as art is gained.  
          Art is anything man-made, and a creation out of lines, colors and spaces possessing emphasis, contrast, balance, and proportion through the use of various materials. Content plays significant role in art as it involves the real message that the artist or creator wants to convey. It involves the opinion of the creator with his/her own interpretations and how the audience received and translated these interpretations; how the viewers reacted to the perceived message and the actual intention of the artist himself. Cinema, on the other hand, which may refer to film or motion picture, is made up series of moving images or frames to narrate a story. Animation techniques and visual effects are examples of ways to produce a motion picture. It is a medium used to broadcast or propagate moving pictures.   

          In discussing Humanities, the main focus is the general knowledge and intellectual skills of every individual. Human interests are captured and the human race across culture and time is the main concern. Art and cinema, being one of the focal points of Humanities, gives significant contribution to on how Humanities is being discussed today. Media already takes part in Literature and we are no longer boxed in drawing and painting as the only visual arts. Film is already considered as an art and motion picture analysis may already be synonymous to text reading. Several literary works have already been adopted as major motion pictures and the viewing public became supportive and appreciative of these books-to-movies concept. Literature has already evolved so much through time that we are already in need of wide range of literary outlook as we try to figure out messages and concepts behind motion pictures.  
          Philippine media, motion pictures for example, are often used as an avenue for expressing point of views and opinions regarding socially relevant issues. Filipino writers and directors take advantage of the freedom we have as they try to send a message to the rest of the Filipinos, being the audience, may it be explicitly defined or embedded between the lines and the characters. Issues that are always considered as the main plot of a movie include politics, corruption, religion, poverty, prostitution and family problems. These may be common problems being addressed by our government since time immemorial but the Filipinos never lose hope that maybe, motion pictures could really make change, maybe not in the broadest sense of improving the whole nation instantly, but by making the change in every viewing public.
Esaak, Shelley, What is Art – The Basic Meaning of Art Explained. [, accessed 16 January 2011]

College Movie Review | Where the Wild Things Are [, accessed 16 January 2011]

The New York Times Company. Where the Wild Things Are – Some of His Best Friends are Beasts. [, accessed 16 January 2011]

The Trustees of Princeton University. WordNet Search - 3.0. Last updated 10 December 2010 [, accessed 16 January 2011]

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