What “Moonrise Kingdom” Taught Me About Love
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What “Moonrise Kingdom” Taught Me About Love

There is something special in this film that keeps us rooting for love.

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What “Moonrise Kingdom” Taught Me About Love
Fort Worth Weekly

“Moonrise Kingdom” is a 2012 film from visionary filmmaker Wes Anderson. After four years, I finally watched it and was blown away. Without giving too much of the story away, the film follows the journey of two 12-year-olds, Sam and Suzy, who fall in love and run away together. However, there is more than meets the eye to these “troubled” preteens.

Even though Sam and Suzy are quite young, we shouldn’t discount their love. Yes, it may just be a crush—one of many that young people go through. Didn’t we all? But there is something special in this relationship, something that has us rooting for love. Without further ado, here are eight things that I learned about love in this quirky but enchanting film.

1. Love doesn’t judge you based on your past. It helps you in the present and walks with you into the future.

Neither Sam nor Suzy has an ideal family. Sam is an orphan, a ward of the state who has lived in foster care for many years. Suzy has a family, but their relationships are strained. Suzy often rebels against her parents out of independence and pre-teenage angst. Meanwhile, Suzy’s parents are struggling in their marriage.

Both Sam and Suzy are looking for love and understanding, and they find this in each other. Instead of judging like others in their life have, they talk through everything and believe in one another. They know that they have each other’s back.

2. You’ll encounter hardships along the way…

You’ll fight. You’ll cry. You’ll question whether this was even a good idea. And that’s just in your own mind!

You’ll also face opposition from the outside. It may not be from your (former) fellow Khaki Scouts, but someone in your life will probably try to shut your hopes and dreams down. The key is to stop them. Keep running and keep pursuing because…

3. They’ll be worth every second.

When a relationship is special enough, you’ll go to almost any length to protect and sustain it. It may seem crazy at times, but isn’t that what love is supposed to be like?

4. You’ll need friends to support you and remind you who you are.

Like Pat Benatar sang in the '80s, “Love is a battlefield.” You’ll need friends to support you. Your special people may be a ragtag group of Khaki Scouts or a group of actors in a church production of Noah's Ark. No matter who they are, these people will walk alongside you and see you through the journey. You’ll learn from each other and remind one another why you’re doing this: for love and for one another.

5. Love demands sacrifice.

One of the sweetest scenes in “Moonrise Kingdom” is when Sam and Suzy are about to set sail with a Khaki Scout leader after “getting married.” (Yes, it was adorable and yes, you need to see it.) The boat sets sail, the Khaki Scouts wish them the best…and then the boat comes back. Suzy left her beloved binoculars behind and Sam runs to get them “because they give her magic powers.” Obviously they don’t, but Sam’s determination to get his love’s most beloved possession is so sweet. It costs Sam more than time; a herd of determined Khaki Scouts pursues him, causing Sam, Suzy and his fellow rogue scouts to run yet again. (Spoiler Alert) Sam even gets struck by lightning! But he knows that…

6. You’ll need to put the other person’s needs above your own.

He could have said, “Forget the binoculars! We need to go!” But he rushed to help Suzy because he loves her.

Throughout their first attempt of running away, Sam is constantly protecting Suzy. To keep her from becoming dehydrated, he encourages her to suck on pebbles (to keep the saliva flowing) and then informs her that he brought water. Sam encourages Suzy to read her favorite books aloud to him. He always makes sure Suzy gets to safety first when crossing rivers or climbing rocks.

These days, it’s hard to find someone who doesn’t put their own interests first. But we can learn a lot from Sam and Suzy. When you do put one another’s interests and well-being first, you’ll have a much more loving relationship. You will become less self-centered and be more thankful for each other.

7. Some may not understand it, and that’s okay. Keep believing in your love and in yourselves.

Even well-meaning people may not understand what's so special about your love. Of course, there are times when you should listen, such as when a relationship becomes unhealthy or unsafe. But if your love is healthy for both of you and is real, then keep fighting for it.

A storm can’t last forever. Soon, you’ll be able to stop, breathe, and feel safe again. One of the biggest keys of survival is knowing who to trust. With the people you love by your side, you’ll be able to face anything. Just remember…

8. “Don’t let go.”

Whether it’s the love between you and your family, your friends or your significant other, don’t let go. These people have been by your side through thick and thin. As long as the relationships remain healthy, you should treasure these loves. Even when you face a storm, don’t let go of a special love like this.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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