Monday, December 5, 2011

Princess Mononoke

  I've been a big fan of Hayao Miyazaki ever since I saw Laputa: Castle in the Sky at a pretty young age. 
It impressed me immensely. The animation, the story, the characters, the scope and scale; all of it was breathtaking. And I knew I just had to get my hands on more. Enter: Princess Mononoke.

  I knew next to nothing about the story and such, but I knew it was a movie that was very eco-centric.
Like, Avatar, its ecological message was clear as day. But instead of feeling like a sub plot or something tacked on last second, the message and the story are pretty much the one and the same in Princess Mononoke. Its very well handled too. The characters are all well fleshed out, and many of them fall into the 'grey' area. Where its not so easy to simply say "He's good." or "He's evil.".
This is where Princess Mononoke intrigued me. Certain characters aren't bad, but do bad things. The movie never makes it easy on you to decide these things. And in the end, the villain turns out to be harmful notions like greed and hatred. The struggle in the plot is for our protagonist to help these opposing parties overcome such blinding notions when both sides feel completely justified in taking extreme measures to acomplish their respective goals. This analytical breakdown of the movie may feel cold, or make it sound boring, but its not. Its an emotional movie. We grow to know the characters and understand who they are by what they do, and the choices they make.

  The other massive part of this movie is the visuals, and the animation. The visuals are breathtaking, thanks to top shelf animation. Princess Mononoke really draws you into its fantasy world full of wonder and excitement. Not the smallest details on anything are ever overlooked. Massive landscapes and epic battlefields, thick lush forests, and thriving villages are wonderfully and brilliantly brought to life through superb animation.

  I cannot say much else without spoiling the movie. But its a great one. A masterpiece of animation and a triumph of a movie in general.

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