Holly and I loved WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE. It was emotionally moving, visually stimulating and well-written. I've gotta say Dave Eggers is a new force to be reckoned within the screenwriting world. Did you see AWAY WE GO? Wow.
There are so many beautiful psychological issues that are brought up in this film. And it's all done in a quite un-cliché sort of way. The frustrations of childhood, nearing adolescence, split home, parents dating again, sibling rivalry and exclusion. Stuff that most of us deal with in our later life as well. Perhaps our childhood is hyperbolic of what the rest of life will be like...I dunno.
There is a scene where Carol (the monster that, in some ways, represents Max's father) realizes that Max isn't really a king; he's only been pretending. And it just destroys Carol. He had been waiting and waiting and waiting for a real king. Someone to make sense of it all. Someone external to himself that would bring happiness, stability, sanity, hope. There had been several "false" kings who had come before Max (and met unfortunate fates), and they had left this group in a sort of constant existential turmoil, wondering what to do and how to live. This island is characterized by the confusion of a group in need of a leader...a group that refuses to turn inward to find it's own center.
"There is no king," the characters say. It's heartbreaking to watch Carol go through grieving process of this realization. But it seemed the only way to freedom...and the only way to have a healthy relationship with Max...or anyone.
Of all that the movie offered, that is what resonated most with me. I see so many of us scrambling to find signposts for how to live, what to do, where to go, etc. So, so, so many people externalize, not trusting themselves to find their own center. We use religious figures, political affiliations, authors, partners/spouses, careers, even celebrities to tell us where to go and what to do. But, of course, we hear all their words through our own filter, both personally and communally (which has layer upon layer).
What if we were to actually trust ourselves? And why do so few of us do this? We have been taught to trust only things that are "out there." We have built theological systems based on the smallness of myself. We disguise that in so-called humility when really, most of it is about a dis/mis-trust of self. We don't even know how to listen to ourselves very well. We busy our minds and bodies with things to do, studying the words, thoughts, actions of historical and contemporary figures.
Sure, sure, we do not come to realize ourselves alone. But still we are the only ones who can change ourselves. I am the only one who can change myself.
LET YOUR LIFE SPEAK (by Parker Palmer) was such a powerful book for me because it told me that it was okay to trust myself, even when I follow it into the dark places that I was taught to fear. That only by going deep into one's own self (psychosis, passion, leanings, etc.) can one free oneself.
I think this might be one of the greatest obstacles to human (social, spiritual, economic, educational, etc.) development. But the overcoming of this obstacle might just be the key to freedom.
There is no king. Deal with it.