OsaruFLIX

The movie retribution Blog!

Princess Mononoke, the cursed review.

Directed & Written by: Hayao Miyazaki

A folkloric tale about a young hero on a journey to the west to cure himself from a demon-like curse.Yes, Miyazaki nailed it again.

Princess mononoke (もののけ姫 Mononoke-hime) is a 1997 Japanese animated movie which was praised with many awards and prizes becoming the best animated movie of it times. Much like it’s successor Spirited Away, It consists of a characters and divine creatures diversity brought forth trough the innovative story telling only known to Hayao Miyazaki and his closest staff members. Yes, the story that took 16 years to finish is a testament to Hayao Miyazaki’s reputation and one of my favorite animated movies yet.

We meet again...

The premise of this movie is intriguing as the movie start with the young hero,Ashitaka  -wise and skilled beyond his age- faces and defeats a boar-like demon using his loyal horse-like ram and excellent marksmanship with the bow and arrow well aware that close contact with the vile creäture could mean certain death leaving him a curse forcing him ( the hinted heir of his small tribe in the east) on a journey to he west to find out what caused the curse and what can cure it. The journey is mixed with folkloric elements and feudal times side tracking from the original journey to discover a world like no other. Although the scar is a curse it can grand him inhumane power. But at the same time, it can make scenes ridiculously gore to he point of unnecessary murder and the mockery of basic rules of physics concerning an arrow splicing a head (seriously that was just awful). Rest assured the few unfortunate setbacks do not deteriorate the viewing experience this marvelous film has to offer. I found the diversity of animals and forest creatures more intriguing than any of its fantasy-oriented predecessors/successors.

The moral evaluation of ones action reflecting on the input of the many protagonists  is a well-oiled machine concerning the clear line between good and evil. It is only when the grey area mixes with the clean black and white patterns that a story can evolve into a well made dramatic plot where character development is crucial and logical. This movie did that. The few important protagonist did not stray to far from their respective colors (something that kind of bothered me in the end) but they played their role like puzzles to a master piece influencing the less important protagonist to fill the grey like Ashitaka did to an excessive amount (Near the end of the movie you will just have to call him “king grey”…) his heroic judgement towards his fellow-men surpasses personal grudges or reasonable actions making him a true hero and naïve in some viewers eyes, like mine for example; I can not stand it when n antagonist saves a protagonist who obviously deserved to meet his fate. The war between man and nature and its inhabitant, forces Ashitaka to forget his own problems to settle the matter that gave him that curse while either siding with the human logic personified as the towns leader Lady Eboshi who sees the forest as a great natural source discarding its magical essence (she is a true threat to the forest while being a kind and modest leader even helping the cursed townsmen. Feel the grey yet?) , or the magical animals and princess Mononoke, “daughter” of the wolf tribe leader Moro, a girl raised as an animal who only wishes to kill Lady Eboshi to preserve her habitat. It’s a notable fact that Ashitaka remains positive and supportive toward both sides as the rift grows between the two parties

Mononoke ready to kill Lady Eboshi

First of all I’d like to point out that the term I just used; “magical animals” is slightly degrading towards their importance and status in this movie. The Animals outweighs the humans by far creating more dept in the story as we witness that they lose ground so that the human can make more weapons and iron, something they cannot accept. Something that only manifest itself in the second half of the movie as the war threatens the forest itself and it’s god. The eventual showdown is a result of fine story telling and the impact of the hatred that the godlike animals harbor against the humans.

Conclusion

An Animation worth of its praises and respect.Hayao Miyazaki’s distinct artistic imprints never seizes to amaze e as I rediscover hi movies on a monthly basis. The 3D rendered monkeys are an eyesore and obvious to everyone but considering the time period and the fact they where one of the first to go to such lengths (and budget) to make an unforgettable experience for generations to come. This is undoubtedly one of the best animations I ever saw excluding the image quality and the in-between animations. As for me I will let that obsessive Ghibli-related corner of my deranged mind rest. for now…

-Osaru-

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