Saturday, December 26, 2009

Complex Human Emotions

Aerie gave me the morning off, and I went to see Where the Wild Things Are at the discount theater. $1.75 ain't bad. Too bad the soda and popcorn weren't on the same price scale.

Much thanks to Aerie; it was the perfect movie for me to see today. I couldn't see Max as anyone but J-H through all of the pre-wild things segments, but J-H sort of disappeared when Max hit the island.

I was a little distracted by the Wild Things performers, too. Tony Soprano was particularly distracting. And Catherine O'Hara. I thought Alexander must be Steve Zahn. And it took me awhile to place Chris Cooper as Douglas. I didn't peg Mark Ruffalo as the boyfriend, or Forest Whitaker as Ira. And I thought Catherine Keener must be doubling as the mother and as K.W. But she wasn't K.W. at all. So all of that kept pulling me out of the story a bit, now and again. But mostly I was amazed.

It was good for me because it was a story about a young boy coping with the complications of being a human being. He was an immature person trying to process complex human emotions like love, jealously, anger, isolation, fear, powerlessness, and so much more. Each of those wild things was an aspect of himself as well as a study in the impossibility of peace, love, and harmony in a human community.

Which of course made me think of me. And the boy. And how he acts out. And how I react to it. He is the wild thing. He is Max in the wolf suit, standing on the table and yelling and biting. And I am Catherine Keener, reacting, and knowing I'm not doing right, and not knowing how else to do it.

I don't know that it helped, but it made me want to keep working to be my better self, to remember that each of us, including me and my son and and everyone else are all weak and afraid and hurt and capable of more and trying and failing. And trying again.


anniemcq said...

I loved this movie so, so much. And I saw myself in Catherine Keener, too. The voice actors didn't disturb me much - I rather enjoyed them. I love that you thought of pre-Wild Thing Max as JH, and I have to say, I thought so too.

You are such a fantastic father. Your little wild man is so lucky to have you for his daddy, and you are so lucky to have him guiding you through the wild-erness.

I, Rodius said...

Thanks. I don't always feel that fantastic.

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