Tuesday, October 04, 2005
The phrase "loosely based" definately applied here...
I've been looking forward to Howl's Moving Castle since I heard it was being turned in to anime, and a Studio Ghibli anime at that... I'd read the book ages and ages ago, and thoroughly enjoyed it, and I figured that the anime version was going to be very very cool.
Then I started seeing trailers and things about it and very little except for the characters and the basic premise seemed to be the same.
And don't even get me started on the movie's version of "the castle"...
But, I like anime, I liked the book... so I went to see it anyway. I both was and wasn't disappointed.
Yes, Miyazaki managed to both mangle and "anime-fy" the story... and having read the book parts of it were very frustrating... especially Sophie's seemingly neverending change in age... she's supposed to turn 90 and stay that way... not flip from 90 back to 16 and then to something resembling 50ish, but I think that was done mostly to serve the slightly heavyhanded romantic plot. Characters were turned from powerful, strong characters to essentially comic relief or were turned from good characters to villians, or just left out completely... whole subplots were lopped out, or pruned back until they were pretty much unrecogniseable... the setting seemed a little too steampunk given the more traditional fantasy setting in the book... and the whole ending was a little too deus ex machina...
Of course most of it probably wasn't helped by the fact that it was the English language version of a Japanese anime of a book written by a Welsh woman.
Having said all that, visually it was a very beautiful movie. You have to give Miyazaki that... he might not be able to write a script that makes linear sense, but he makes pretty films.
yani's rating: 5 fire demons out of 10