Spectacular work of mise-en-scene in Moonrise Kingdom (2012)

Spectacular work of mise-en-scene in Moonrise Kingdom (2012) by Wes Anderson. This film tells a story of two children, Sam and Suzy, who have fallen in love and decide to run away. A violent storm approaches the island and forces the guardians/adults to go out and search for them. Throughout the film, Sam and Suzy seem to stand out from the rest of the characters, through their personality, costumes and Suzy’s makeup. Which was all intentionally done by Wes Anderson, since he had control over everything that happens on the screen.

One scene particularly where both their costumes stand out and Suzy’s makeup standout. After Sam and Suzy have climbed up the rocky hill and made it Old Chickchaw Harvest Migration trail we come to the scene where Sam is building a tent and is placing a life jacket on Suzy. They are both place in the center of the screen to put the focus on them. In this scene, we can tell that Suzy is different from others.  We can tell right away that she doesn’t blend at all in the picture with her bright pink dress and her dark makeup it’s just a reminder that she is unique but in her own way. The viewers can see Suzy’s pink dress that stands out and her orange life jacket from the yellow tent, brown trees and warm colors around her.  Suzy’s wore a lot of makeup, and dark makeup showed she was bolder than others and it made her look much older, mature and grown up. Suzy’s props in this scene where the black binoculars that were always with her at all time she would say “It helps me see things closer. Even if they’re not very far away. I pretend it’s my magic power.”  By the bright colors of her dress and dark makeup is a reminder that she isn’t like the rest of the characters that she is unique in her own way.  

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In the same scene, Sam is well aware of too by the viewers. He is the opposite of Suzy obviously, he wears more a warm/neutral color. The viewers can notice right away that he wears a uniform and patches on his side of his uniform that he is a Khaki Scout. So, viewers know that scouts are always out in the woods and that is why Sam blends in so well with nature. Sam as well had on a life jacket and he was mustard yellow and it blended in with his uniform so well. In the scene, you can tell that the tent matches with Sam and his scout uniform meaning it belongs to him. Sam’s props aren’t much but he does have some, his props are his glasses that he has them at all time and of course his raccoon hat. Sam’s raccoon that means comfort since he always has it around as well as Suzy with her binoculars.

The viewers can notice that the scene is focused on them both so we can admire them and see what they are doing. In the same scene, Sam and Suzy both look at each other while Sam is placing the life jacket on Suzy. It looks like Sam really cares about her because he is making sure she has her life jacket on. The look on both is “love” which made the decision to run away. Since they have a life jacket on it is obvious they will be around water.  They both have distinct things that are different from each other, Suzy has brighter colors and well Sam more brown/warm colors. Anderson also made this scene centered like the rest of the scene and made the lighting soft with a warm tone.  The personality, staging, and props of this scene were different from any other. 

To beginning to the end of the film we find examples of mise-en-scene. The costumes of the characters add personality and draw attention to the viewer’s eye. Anderson had control over all these props and made every character different and made their personality distinctive. The lighting and focus were centered and soft and warm mostly throughout the film which highlighted the importance of the film. Anderson placed what we see as an unrealistic world into a film world to give the film meaning.


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