This is gonna be word vomit. You’ve been warned.
This movie is one of my favorites, but this is also a re-review with the perspective coming from my second viewing of it.
Spirited Away is awesome. And not even in the “cool” sense of the word, but in the way that it truly left me in awe even after second viewing. To date, it is my favorite Hayao Miyazaki film and there are so many positive aspects that swept me away even when I knew they were coming.
I do have to state, however, that this movie did drop in score upon second viewing. Of course, when you know the plot some of the magic will be lost, but I also realized that there are many aspects of this movie that are kind of slow and drag on. Also, I do have to concede that the conclusion of the film with Haku the river spirit is confusing and not as emotional as so many other parts of the movie. I feel this movie could definitely achieve its transcendental tone and feeling even with dropping a good fifteen minutes from the story.
My positives include the emotion, world building and character development throughout the movie. First, the sheer power and feeling that this movie develops is so insanely brilliant and raw that it truly is a work of art. I loved how the setup is so minimal and there is basically no exposition about why things are the way they are. The take about a loss of innocence is told is such an emotional and true way in such a crazy setting that I have nothing about humble humble respect for this film. Furthermore, the entire world is so well realized that it truly takes a life of its own in the film. Every detail of animation is used perfectly and the world is mysterious and scary yet also has a sense of home and wonder that I do not think any other film I have ever seen has captured so perfectly. through the world, we as an audience can very much relate to our main character as we experience the same emotions she does. This also, then is lost in the finale because her conclusion about love is not equally felt by the viewer.
There are so many necessary lessons in this story that are told in the most brilliant of ways. Overall, this movie still remains one of my favorite of all time, but upon viewing it with others, I noticed that defending its strangeness is difficult. Its hard to explain the pure awe and joy I felt watching this movie for the first time, but being able to relive most of the excitement even on re-watch is also a commendable achievement.
Go see Spirited Away as an introduction to anime or if you want to look at the world in a new way. The best thing about this movie is that when you walk out of the theatre, you immediately start seeing how awesome and mystical everything in your own life can be.
Go see this movie yo