Friday, August 5, 2011

The Borrower Arrietty [review]

I was an avid fan of Studio Ghibli works, well, especially by the director/creator himself, Hayao Miyazaki. My first and also favorite was Princess Mononoke and ever since, I've watched almost 80% of his entire work. I guess his most famous yet should be My Neighbour Totoro, but internationally successful will be none other than Spirited Away. 

Last year, he produced another work, one that I anticipated for a while and when I couldn't get my hands on it, I kinda forgotten about it till recently, it's available. Basically, this is based on a book, "The Borrowers" by Mary Norton. The story itself didn't appeal to me as much as before, so I wasn't exactly expecting much. However, 10 minutes into it, I was captivated by the minor details of artwork and scenes they gave us. 

The central character is Arrietty, a Borrower, little people who lives under the basement of a house Sho, a boy lives for the summer, in preparation for his operation. We are brought into the small world of Arrietty where everything else look bigger and taller than them. 

They are called Borrowers because they *borrow* things around the house, not steal, mind you, but take little things like food, just enough for themselves to get by, but, not enough to be noticed by human beings in the house. One night, Sho saw her during her first night out borrowing with her father. Since then, Arrietty and him make contact several times, and even asked him for help when her mother was kidnapped by Haru (the maid).

Can I just say how much I miss Studio Ghibli cartoons? Their artwork never gets old in this era of 3D stuffs and animation like Toy Story, Ice Age, etc...things you see in Hollywood. Hayao Miyazaki also tends to have female characters as his protagonists, you should've noticed if you watched several of his earlier works until the recent ones. I think he has a soft spot for girls? Lolz...but there'll also be guys or rather, boys in the supporting roles. Actually, in Princess Mononoke, I'd say the main was Ashitaka and the supporting of which the title was named after, Mononoke Hime herself. But anyways, I don't see anybody complaining. I know I don't have any problem with that. And I like his works too because they revolve around children fantasy a lot. It's like when you watch his movies, you kinda return to your youth again.

There are a lot of pretty shots in the 1:30 hrs movie. Like I mentioned, the details matter. And he focused on that a lot. Heck, even the wallpapers of the house have texture visible on them! Like, you can literally see/feel the texture.

Arrietty's mother captured


I love these scenes


Well, frankly, there was nothing to shout about this new installation by Miyazaki. I guess the last one that really put so much impression on viewers was Spirited Away. Although, I wasn't really into that movie. Still, Arrietty is a nice follow-up by Studio Ghibli. At times I think they've lost their touch in producing quality and moving pictures like My Neighbour Totoro, Laputa in the Sky, Mononoke Hime etc...but upon watching this, I am still pinning hope on them to create wonders in the future.

I'm giving this 7/10. If not for the storyline, go for the effort they put in the details of the artwork and screenplay. They're at least worth watching. Also, don't miss out on the theme song too. The OST may not be as awesome as the ones offered in previous movies by the genius master himself, Joe Hisaishi, since this one was recorded in France by another composer but it's still worth having a listen to.

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