|I went to see the movie, whose title was "Hawl's Moving Castle". The director was Mr. Hayao Miyazaki. On a Saturday morning, I got up early by chance. After I finished taking breakfast, I suddenly reminded of a free ticket of this movie.
So I went to a theater at Hibiya Park nearby my house. Just before 9:00am, I went into the Scala-za Theater of Hibiya. There were not so many audiences at the theater. The number of audience was only 100 or so out of 800 or so. I took a seat of the center of the middle area.
It was the story was a European kingdom in the 19th end of the century. There was a girl, Sophie, who was the daughter of a poor hatter. She was an unremarkable girl in nature. One day, she met a handsome wizard's Hawl and helped him. Therefore, she was changed by the old woman of 90 years by the witch of the moorland. The old woman Sophie visited the Moving Hawl's Castle. She stayed in the castle together with Hawl, Satan Calshefar and a boy. There were 4 doors, which connected with different worlds. Since Sophie was changed to old woman, she has become very active and positive. She helped Hawl, who was fighting with other wizards. The scenes of this movie were very beautiful, such as a very beautiful old city area with the stone pavement, a wonderful field with flowers and lakes.
After watching this movie, my impression was that it was just a plain movie and not so worth while watching for a middle age's man like me. It is because that the development of story is a bit unreasonable. Of course that's why this is the fantasy, but still, I think it is strange. For example, at the end of the story, I still can't understand why the wizard of the palace stopped the war suddenly or why the scarecrow was the prince of the neighboring kingdom. One more thing that I want to say is Hawl. I still can't understand what Hawl was doing. I just had an impression is Hawl was only flying over the war field. In conclusion, it might be a suitable movie for children to see, but not so satisfactory for middle age's men who stick to logic.
If I will pick up the best movies of Mr. Hayao Miyazaki supervisor's work, I will take as below;
The best movie is "My Neighbor Totoro".
The second best is "Spirited Away".
The third best is "Kiki's Delivery Service".
Especially "My Neighbor Totoro" is the best fantasy movie. Everyone was surprised to see the Totoro, a big cat-style spirit, who kindly helped two sisters.
However the other movies, that Mr. Miyazaki created, aren't so good works, I dare to say. Of course I don't say that they were bad, but they were just plain, not so special like the above three movies. For example, I still can't understand the message of "Princess Mononoke". In this sense, "Hawl's Moving Castle" is better than this, because I can get some message from this movie, although it is quite weak. The theme of "Hawl's Moving Castle" is a love-story and anti-war. However I regret that these messages are neither so strong nor dramatic. That's why I felt frustrated.
In that sense, "Spirited Away" is wonderful. The old Japanese Public Bath was very impressive to the audience. It made everyone surprised and hides other deficits of this movie. But Hawl's moving castle is not so impressive and we can't understand what Hawl was doing. It seems to be no meaning.
By the way, I think that the story of Hawl's Moving Castle is a mixture of the stories of Spirited Away and Laputa: Castle in the Sky. Sophie and Hawl love each other, which is the same as the case of Chihiro and the spirit of river. And that Hawl's Castle can not only move on the ground, but also flies in the sky. This resembles to the Laputa's Castle. I think that Mr. Miyazaki likes to make his heroes or heroines fly in the sky, like "Kiki's Delivery Service", "Porco Rosso", "Laputa: Castle in the Sky" and so on.
However I guess that Mr. Miyazaki seems to have the idea of anti-science, anti-modern ages, and the anti-war in nature. However he dares not to show such message too much in the movies. Instead he firstly gives the fantasy in front then, he tried to show other messages. I think this is the reason why I am frustrated after watching his other movies. In this sense, his successful movies are mainly fantasy ones only. In another words, as long as he gives message of happily fantasy only, I am sure his movies would be accepted by people of various ages.
So far I wrote goods and bads on Mr. Miyazaki, but I highly evaluate this producer as an indeed valuable person, because he gives us wonderful fantasy movies. Anyway there are too many movies which only violent, sexual or grotesque in these days.
(March 6, 2005)
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