Wednesday, March 12, 2003

review: Spirited Away (Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi)

Hayao Miyazaki, one of Japan's best directors and storytellers, outdoes himself with this well-imagined, cleverly crafted and utterly charming film.

A site describes offers this synopsis of Spirited Away (I hate writing summaries, ending up getting into analysis).

"Sen to Chihiro no Kamikakushi is a fantasy adventure with a ten year-old girl, which starts in everyday Japan but goes somewhere very different. For young Chihiro and her family, a mysterious tunnel and haunted town lead to the Land of Spirits, inhabited by gods and monsters and ruled by the greedy witch Yu-baba. Chihiro's parents are transformed into pigs; to rescue them, she must surrender her name and serve in this world. Luckily she finds friends and allies, including the handsome but mysterious boy Haku. Initially sulky and listless, Chihiro (or Sen, as she's now called) finds inner strengths and establishes an identity in this strange world. But can she win back her name and return home?"

Believe me, this is one of the best films I've seen, period. All aspects contribute to the sense of wonder (it's just too bad that Disney didn't give it the attention it deserved). My harshest criticism is to call a film "a waste of life". Viewing this film contributes to experience of life.

If you haven't seen this film, run, don't walk and get a copy now.

Final Review: Spirited Away

********* (of 10)




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