Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ponyo


Nothing but good mail today! No bills: just a lovely postcard from Taiwan. A welcome, pleasant surprise after waking up to ants biting me in my bed at midnight. I think they're seeking revenge after my attempts to boil them out of their mulch-pile home by invading mine.
Again, I've neglected this blog for some time and I think all the things I have to say should probably be broken up into more than one post. Right now I'll stick with my brief (and likely incomplete) review of Ponyo, as we went to see it over the weekend and I still find myself somewhat preoccupied with it. I don't like to review things, really. Maybe it's because I think my opinions are somehow invalid because I don't like to think about things (especially movies) too deeply. I've looked at art from a scholarly perspective long enough to be totally cynical and I think I've looped back around to a rather "that's a purty picture" mindset. But, this particular movie is still on my mind, so here goes.
For the most part, the story was sort of predictable and unoriginal, borrowing heavily from Hans Christian Andersen's Little Mermaid. Not that that's a problem, mind you, but we left the theatre with Rebecca kvetching about the plot, or lack thereof, and anticipating that the story would be somehow more developed in the Japanese dialogue version (unfortunately, only one theatre in the area was showing the movie at all, and it was dubbed. Boo. But kudos to Liam Neeson - he was really very entertaining.) Rebecca may be right about that, and we'll see when the DVD comes out, but frankly, I don't care. I don't watch Miyazaki movies for the stories. I find that they're usually just a tenuous framework to build a lush, magical world filled with endearing characters around - and THAT is why I love his films. They leave me yearning to make my little world somehow more magical in the simple and decidedly Japanese way that his worlds always are, and in that aspect, Ponyo did not disappoint. I was a little surprised to see the slight deviation in style towards washy, looser backgrounds (rather than the very tight ones in Howl's Moving Castle or Spirited Away - did he do this in Totoro? I'll have to check.) And the chicken feet - and hands - were a bit weird. But really, what could be more magical than a little house on a hill by the sea? It also left me with quite a hankering for ramen and ham. So now you see why I don't write reviews. All in all, it's worth seeing. Especially after sitting through Transformers 2. Ugh.
I think I'll have that ramen now.

1 comment:

Carly said...

Hey Sarah, long time no see o_O I too saw Ponyo recently and I liked it. It actually cured my bad mood (I had been in a bad mood, but it went away soon after the movie started.) I was sooo wanting to be seeing it in Japanese, though... O why are Americans so against subtitles? (Do I really need to ask?) Anyway, I didn't realize it was ripping off the Little Mermaid, but it was visually mesmerizing! I need to see more Miyazaki stuff.