The critical response to Spike Jonze and Dave Eggers’ treatment of Where the Wild Things Are, the classic 1963 childrens picture book by Maurice Sendak, has been less universal consensus than expected. Mind you, its still positive overall (upper 60% on Rotten Tomatoes), just not the 95% positive I’d expected.
So far the criticisms fall into categories best summed up as “overlong,” “meandering,” and “underwhelming.” Alongside those mentioned, I anticipate the following from some colleagues and friends, “More pop psychology B.S. from Jonze,” “Tried to do too much with too little,” and “It just didn’t do anything for me.”
To preface, so many pseudo-critics easily mistake the purpose of reviewing a film. So much of the “likability” factor in film relies on interpretation, opinion, and cinematic knowledge. These three aspects battle about with each screening, and ultimately the resulting review has nothing to do with “right or wrong.” There is no correct answer to a film, yet so many folks get stuck on these aspects. Interpretation and opinion often conspire to trump cinematic knowledge, or vice-versa, but neither camp is entirely “right.”