Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Hawl’s Moving Castle

Hayao Miyazaki’ s film manages to surprise you with it’s beauty. The designs and images of Hawl’s Moving Castle do not share the almost plastic perfection of Disney’s or DreamWork’s cartoons. The beauty derives from a kind of imperfection and ugliness. Nothing is cute or that glamorous. The story is rather complex and sometimes is difficult to follow up. As the film is an adaptation of a novel I imagine it was rather difficult to condense the whole book in a two-hour film. Still all you have to do is let the reason go and allow yourself to get lost in the wonder of images and colors. Some might think that his previous film (Spirited Away) was superior, but it seems to me that Hawl’s Moving castle is a much more ambitious and adult project.
The story narrates the love story of Sofi, a plain girl and the enchanted wizard Hawl. Haya Miyazaki is telling us that love has nothing to do with physical appearance. The true appearance of the heroes in the most of the film is disguised. Sofi is spelled to be old before her time. Hawl has some filters of his own in order to be more beautiful than he actually is or he is often transformed into a monstrous bird in order to be able to fight. Still behind all these appearances and disguises the characters manage to find the real beauty in each other and fall in love. More over by falling in love they manage to out done themselves and to become better. Sofi manages to surpass her fear and Hawl succeeds in putting someone over himself and find the courage to resist and fight for his own believes.
What amazes the most in Hayao Miyazaki’s films, though, is how even the more scary and negative characters of his films prove to be understandable, even justifiable. In the beginning of his stories there is always some bad scary witch who seems inhumanly mean. As the narration moves on, however, the motivation of her actions and her weak point is revealed and the spectators can even sympathize with her actions. Children’s fairy tales usually are based on the well visible dichotomy of the black \ white. There are characters which are absolutely mean and characters which are heavenly good. In truth though, we, grown ups, are supposed to know that there are only millions shades of gray. This might be a more complex view of life but according to me it is also a more optimistic one since that means that there is no absolute evil in the world to be scared off.

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