Relationships can be testing and sometimes they are under so much stress that they go beyond breaking point. It often is difficult for both parties involved, but when children are also part of the equation it adds an extra layer to it all. Personally I am very happy that my parents are still together after being married for over 30 years. I simply can not imagine what children have to go through when their parents break up. I don’t know all the emotions that go on in their mind and what situations they have been in. When people fight they will not always think about children in their presence and that can leave a very strong, lasting impression on them. What Maisie Knew looks at one such child who is in the middle of such a break up.
Maisie is still young and her father (Steve Coogan) and mother (Julianne Moore) who is a rock star are no longer getting along and often fight. It does not take long before they decide that a divorce is the best solution. They both fight about who will be able to care for Maisie and eventually an arrangement is made. It doesn’t mean Maisie has gone through the storm and can now get used to the new situation.
What Maisie Knew was a very powerful movie to me as the film constantly remains focussed on Maisie. Everything that happens is shown from her point of view. It reminded me a bit of E.T., where Spielberg also used that point of view and it is very effective. It shows how horrible, selfish and hateful people can be who are in pain because of a love lost. They will say negative things about other people just because they can not keep it to themselves and deal with it in another way. They do not realise they are putting a heavy burden on their child. As I was watching this I felt for Maisie, not being able to have any control on the situation around her, having to find her own way to deal with this huge load of emotion while she is still developing as a person. With excellent performances from the whole cast this was a movie that managed to give me a bit of an understanding what a child has to go through. Something which I will try to make sure my own children will never have to experience.