We were once again introduced to another
make-believe world with Studio Ghibli’s recent offering—The Secret World of Arrietty (Kari-gurashi no Arrietty). While
there are no stink spirits, ghouls and walking radishes in Arrietty’s world, we
still see traces of magic and enchantment as we meet these four-inch people and
join them in their “borrowing” adventure.
Largely based on Mary Norton’s 1952 novel
“The Borrowers”, TSWA is a heartwarming tale of a girl named Arrietty and her
family’s struggle to make ends meet and to survive the harsh world full of
“human beans” by “borrowing” things that they wouldn’t normally miss.
Throughout Arrietty’s existence, they have lived under the floorboard of an
ancestral house somewhere in the suburbs, evading the possibility of being
discovered and eventually evicted from their little nook they’ve called home.
|Sho finally sees Arrietty.|
In her first borrowing trip, Arrietty and her
father would have to get a single sugar cube and a ply of tissue paper which
they could use for one whole month. Everything went as usual, her father
teaching her the tricks of the trade—from operating the simple pulleys within the
wooden walls to climbing the cabinets and tables by sticking double-sided
adhesive tapes on their shoes and gloves. But in the middle of their borrowing
expedition, a young boy named Sho sees them. Sho tells Arrietty not to be
afraid but her father thinks otherwise—it’s time to move out.
Determined not to leave their precious little
home, Arrietty finds the courage to go on her own expeditions and pursue her
friendship with Sho—that sickly boy who gets captivated by Arrietty’s
existence. But her father would not allow—“Many
borrowers have already died thinking the same.” With several run-ins from
the fierce housekeeper, Haru, Arrietty exhibits a different kind of courage,
something that makes her a heroine on her own right.
|Haru captures Arrietty's mother.|
The film was not directed by modern-day
animation guru, Hayao Miyazaki but because he handpicked Hiromasa Yonebayashi
to steer the movie into fruition, his influence and guidance is still glimpsed
throughout this masterpiece. As soon as the first frames showing the garden
enter the screen—those carefully water colored flowers, flowing grasses,
pattering raindrops and those ferocious little insects that does not hinder
Arrietty from exploring the big human world—one could not help but be enchanted
What adds to the beauty of this little film
is its quiet story. Compared to other Miyazaki- Studio Ghibli films, the
adventures here are lesser and there isn’t much
suspense-bring-you-to-the-seat’s-edge factor. Well, that’s one welcome thing to
me because I get to relax and enjoy the sheer simplicity of the movie.
Sweeeeeet. :D The music infused throughout the scenes is also nice to hear.
It’s not too loud and not too boring too. Right in the middle of pleasant music
friendly to our ears.
The ending was not as rosy as the movies’
frames. It allows us some room for imagination and tiebacks. It’s sad. And
while it doesn’t strike a full happy note in the end, one would love the
nostalgia it leaves behind. As soon as the credits started rolling, Arrietty’s
song plays one last time. I can’t help but wonder, are there really small
people living among us? Or maybe, I’m one of the small people and I just have
to find that courage to face this big human world.
Other People Enchanted by Arrietty’s World:
Labels: hayao miyazaki, japanese films, movie review, secret world of arrietty, spirited away, women empowerment