Saturday, March 28, 2009

Spirited Away (2001)

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki. I was sort of surprised when Karen said she wanted to see this because I don't think of it as really her bag. Though I don't really think of it as much my bag either. I went through a brief anime phase in the early '90s and burnt out on it pretty fast. But this movie is different. It's colossally weird and beautiful, the plot is compelling and the story has almost literary depth. It's a dark take on the "Alice in Wonderland" tale with a very involved mythology that hangs together flawlessly. There's so much going on here that it's almost exhausting; it's full of great ideas and interesting characters.

My one complaint is that the plot resolves itself out of left field, using a conversation between two characters that refer to a bunch of events we never see and are never alluded to elsewhere in the story. It's sort of like struggling to get to the end of a version of "The Wizard of Oz" where they leave out the whole first act, where Dorothy is in Kansas. If you see this, and you should, you'll see what I mean.

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