Exploring Arrietty’s Secret World (Movie Review)



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 and entranced.


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.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Other People Enchanted by Arrietty’s World:
Kenneth Turan of LA Times finds Arrietty’sworld impeccable and pure
Amy Joyce of The Washington Post saysArrietty is a tiny movie with outsize charms
Rotten Tomatoes gives it a fresh rating

Labels: , , , , ,

felix felicis: Exploring Arrietty’s Secret World (Movie Review)

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Exploring Arrietty’s Secret World (Movie Review)



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 and entranced.


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.

4.5 out of 5 stars.

Other People Enchanted by Arrietty’s World:

Labels: , , , , ,

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home