woensdag 7 mei 2014

100 Movie Challenge 2014 - # 59: Spirited Away

Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Genre: Drama/ Animation/ Family/ Adventure
Runtime: 124 minutes
Year: 2001
Starring: Rumi Hiragi, Miyu Irino, Mari Natsuki, Takashi Naito, Yasuko Sawaguchi, Tatsuya Gashuin, Ryunosuke Kamiki, Yumi Tamai

Description: In the middle of her family's move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and monsters; where humans are changed into animals; and a bathhouse for these creatures.

Review: In “Spirited Away” we meet Chihiro, who is moving to the suburbs with her parents. Dad thinks he knows a shortcut, but get lost. They see a tunnel and decide to check out what’s on the other side. Within seconds they end up in a deserted amusement park, where they find a food stand with delicious food. Chihiro just wants to leave, but her parents start enjoying the food. Because of their gluttony, Chihiro’s parents turn into pigs and she has to make it on her own in the world lead by witch Yubaba.
How weird this synopsis may sound, that’s how comprehensible Miyazaki’s world is presented. A wonderful ghost world emerges around Chihiro, that is populated by talking frogs, river gods, a giant baby and other wondrous creatures. The style is fantastic and truly inspiring.
The director manages to make the characters look creatable. His specialty is child behavior, which you can see in the young Chihiro. Where she comes off as a pouting kid at first, she turns into an independent girl with an open mind and notion for others, without losing her childlike manners. In between the lines you can also see some of Miyazaki’s personal worries, like pollution, greed and apathy. His social commentary is pure and honest.
There are still so many movies of Hayao Miyazaki that I have to see, but I’m so glad this introduction was made. “Spirited Away” is mesmerizing.

Rating: 4,5/ 5

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