Day 2: Favourite movie and why
So. This is a very tough question. I don’t have just ONE favourite movie; I have quite a few. Obviously, Spirited Away is right at the top. Then there’s Howl’s Moving Castle, Whisper of the Heart and Grave of the Fireflies.
Spirited Away because there’s just something about how ordinary a girl Chihiro is, put in an absolutely extraordinary circumstance. Sullen and not the biggest fan of change, she goes through this wringer, finds the strength and courage lying dormant within her, and a bunch of friends to be cherished forever. By the end of it, she doesn’t even look dull anymore (both visually and emotionally). You just know she’s going to grow up into a pleasant and wonderful lady. And the foundation of the story, how love - familial, platonic, or romantic - can do wonders, that gets me too. Love conquers, and the way it’s delivered in this film, it’s just beautiful.
I love Howl’s Moving Castle mainly because of Sophie and Howl’s insecurities. I know, they both have
mostly shallow worries, but it’s true. I’m the first-born and like Sophie, I don’t mind what is handed down to me, resigned to the fact that as the eldest, I have to do this and that. I constantly worry about how I’m not ‘pretty’ or ‘beautiful’ and like Howl, there ARE days when I despair and don’t see the point of my existence if I’m not good-looking. But then these two’s process and how they fall for each other despite Howl’s vanity/superficiality and Sophie’s insecurity/old and wrinkled appearance (thus, growing out of their shells) touches me. The way the movie teaches to learn to accept people the way they are just makes me go ‘aaaww’ and melt into a puddle, y’know?
Besides the fact that I’m EXACTLY like Shizuku (right down to being ‘tone deaf’), I love Whisper of the Heart because of how real and relateable it is. I love how subtle and muted the message is, and I honestly think that’s what makes it so beautiful. Seiji and Shizuku’s determination to know their selves better, to find their place in the world, to make things work and to mould their own paths, it all just screams Twila everywhere. And the way they pushed themselves, especially Shizuku… yup. It was as if Miyazaki took my life and made it into an anime movie. It confirmed to me that there’s always a silver-lining, and somewhere out there is that person I am good for and perfect with.
Grave of the Fireflies made a mixed impression on me. It mainly made me sad and gave me such a big heartache that I couldn’t stop crying for hours. Even now, I can’t look at a gif or a screencap and not tear up (as was the case when I was looking for a gif for this). It honestly made me feel tremendously sad and depressed for days, as in Canucks-Game-7-loss-to-the-Bruins sad, and it still does. But then knowing that Seita and Setsuko are in a better place where they’re happy and together makes me smile and it helps with that ache. The ending, though abrupt, was a nice tug at the heart that says ‘there’s always hope somewhere’. Overall though, I loved this film because it was different from all the other war movies. It didn’t portray a certain ideology and ‘good’ and ‘evil’ was mixed together everywhere in different gradations of gray. But most of all, Seita’s love and caring for Setsuko? Yeah, it inspired me to be a better sister to my brothers.
(gif sources: fudgybar, Ghibli Gifs and kadeart)