From a child’s first words, to a male bird’s mating song, and even the waves rushing on to shore to signify the moon’s gravitational pull on the earth.
Not to mention our–us humans– means of communication in the present day.
The prime example: Social media (i.e: Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Tinder, Yik Yak)
And the ever-reliant text messaging and e-mail, as well as phone calls and FaceTime.
Even the simplest forms of communication have been and are still being used today: writing letters and notes, as well as speaking to each other in person.
Our entire world revolves around communication.
My focus will be on the communication aspect of relationships that are seen in two movies, Moonrise Kingdom and Her, directed and written by world-renowned eclectic filmmakers, Wes Anderson and Spike Jonze.
“Dear Suzy, Here is my plan.”
Suzy writes in her bed crouched beneath a quilt with a
plastic lantern glowing beside her.
“Dear Sam, My answer is yes.”
Moonrise Kingdom (2012), directed and co-written by Wes Anderson (Rushmore and The Royal Tenebaums) is a film about two preteens in the 1960s, Sam and Suzy, who embark on a journey to rid them of their troubles at home and eventually they fall in love.
“…in Moonrise Kingdom, such a wacky display of war captures the contained mindset of these children, who feel disconnected from the adults of the world, to the point where they reenact adult situations with a fitting aura of immaturity”-(Cinema Beans Blogpost).
With the whimsical setting of this film, the story lends itself to be very reminiscent of a childhood adventure book. The costumes, lighting, color choices and props all play a huge role in creating an imaginative atmosphere.
Mark Browning, author of Wes Anderson: Why His Movies Matter, comments on Anderson’s auteur style with regards to all of his films stating that, “What seems largely absent from Anderson’s films is tragic depth of feeling and realism of everyday life” (150).
Despite the flamboyant surrealistic scenery of this film, the actual story is very simple and real. It is about two children who are in the midst of teen-hood and their budding relationship that evolves throughout the film.
Studies made by Angie Williams, co-writer of Teenagers’ perceptions of communication and ‘good communication’ with peers, young adults, and older adults, stated that, “With their peers, these 18- to 25-year-olds reported less discomfort, tension, negativity and dissatisfaction, and they reported less need for communication adjustments.”
The communication between them in the beginning of the film—through letters—were minimal, however it is their interactions together that help their friendship grow.
Suzy is a rebellious spirit and she feels disconnected from her own family; while Sam is determined and yet he is also missing love due to him being an orphan. Together, they rely on each other to fill that missing piece. The relationship that Sam and Suzy have is naïve yet it is powerfully raw.
Let’s fast-forward from the sixties to a couple decades further from our current present-day era (2010s).
I present the Academy Award-winning film, Her, written and directed by Spike Jonze (director of Being John Malkovich and Where the Wild Things Are). This film is about Theo, a lonesome man who is on the verge of completing his divorce, and his intimate relationship with his operating system, Samantha.
At first glance, any viewer would believe that Spike Jonze is making a commentary about our rapid reliance on technology. THIS IS FALSE. In a recent interview with Emily Maitlis of BBC newsnight of his critically acclaimed film, Jonze irritatingly explained that his film is not a commentary on technology and society whatsoever.
“Technology and society, it’s not a commentary about that, it is just a setting… the movie is about finding intimacy with somebody else outside of yourself.”
At first I was one of those viewers that automatically assumed the commentary belief, however as I continued watching the film, I sympathized with Theo and Samantha. The relationship between them was definitely real and I think Jonze purposefully (even if he won’t admit it) exaggerated the advancements in technology in this film to challenge the viewer to look past all of the synthetic aspects and focus only on the unpretentious love between the two characters. A fellow classmate of mine, Julianna Graham agrees with my statement and captures the message that Jonze is trying to portray.
“This film depicts the communication and emotions of a relationship more accurately and on point more than I have ever seen before.”
Other viewers of the film expressed concern over the fast-paced development of technology and how it is affecting their relationships and the way they communicate.
This is a video that shows the modest thoughts that people had about the film and also on relationships in general.
So what is the overall message to be said here?
Communication is and will always be prevalent in our lives. It is the question of actually comprehending what is to be said within our relationships and conversations that needs to be asserted as quickly as possible. The genuine aspect will always be lurking beneath the surface of all relationships, it is up to us as human beings; with our conscience and common sense to be able to tap into this aspect and to utilize it.
Communication requires replying, listening, and understanding. It is a simple yet complex task, but it is achievable.