Thursday, April 28, 2011

HOWL’S MOVING CASTLE (Japanese) (2004)

Back to the wonderful world of Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli! Once again I was carried away into the fantasyland by the wizard of animation. One has to watch his cinema to know how high animation can go without backup of heavy CGI, happening 3D effects, excessive merchandising or marketing gimmicks to sell wonderland to kids. Not even excellence of Disney or Pixar can match the marvelous landscapes and sublime emotions of Miyazaki’s art. Lurking beneath Miyazaki’s movies is the heart and soul of man who spent his entire life dreaming with pen in his mind.

A young girl named Sophie turned into an old granny by a witch spell. She remains so for the most part of the movie but nevertheless she’s spirited away into exciting world of moving castle where she’s enjoying companionship of a moving scarecrow, funny fire demon named Calcifer, a young wizard named Master Howl and his young apprentice Marco. Outside the fantasy world, the war is destroying cities, innocent citizens and nature. Ultimately true love and pure heart of Sophie can free everyone from witch spell and war.

Moving castle is pure delight and treat to watch where anything is possible- watch that four colored dial door that turns to different worlds outside the door. Along with the journey of Sophie, we’re also turned into the strange but captivating world of beautiful visuals and imagination and like any of Studio Ghibli films, it’s purely a treat to your senses. The use of moving western classical background score in almost many of Miyazaki cinema is soothing too. The film is based on English fantasy writer Diana Wynne Jones’ story book, not a well known author as the author of Harry Potter series but her tale is anything less than Potter series. It has eccentric great imagination and characters full of sorcery, witchcraft and magic powers. Sophie is abstained from power but it’s her human and a feminine love that settles the equilibrium back to normal.

Having watched many of Miyazaki films and wrote enough about them, I just want to consent a thought shared by one of his bewitched fan Richard Nilsen- “The world it gives us to live in for a couple of hours, is pure magic. It is one of those places we might wish never to leave.”


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