The Boy and the Heron: Movie Review

The Boy and the Heron Movie Review: Masterful Miyazaki

Watch this movie right now:

Approaching "The Boy and the Heron" without prior expectations of Studio Ghibli's recent works, the film emerged as a captivating surprise. The animation is simply breathtaking in its beauty and scope especially with its hand-drawn quality. Beyond the visuals, the film's writing presented a refreshing and unexpected narrative, with numerous twists that stretched the boundaries of  our own imagination and thoughts.

Set against the backdrop of World War II, Mahito's journey begins tragically with the loss of his mother during an air raid. The decision to move to the countryside with his father and stepmother Natsuko initiates a profound shift in his life. Amidst this transition, the mysterious presence of a talking gray heron and an abandoned tower becomes the focal point in Mahito's exploration of his new surroundings and moving on from his personal tragedy.

From its opening scene, the film establishes a solemn and serious tone, portraying the grim reality of war's complexities. Yet, Miyazaki seamlessly intertwines reality and fantasy. This duality defines the film's uniqueness, evoking a spectrum of emotions and thoughts we seldom experience. Mahito's journey will really depend on how you take it to be. It can be straightforward as it is but it can also resonate on multiple levels, prompting contemplation on life, loss, and acceptance. Beyond the visuals, this was the film's strongest asset.

However, the film's ambitious narrative, encompassing numerous characters, left the two-hour runtime feeling somewhat constrained. The relationships Mahito forms with key characters could benefit from deeper exploration and development. This aspect, while minor, slightly detracted from the film's otherwise exceptional storytelling and had us wondering if it was tighter or perhaps longer, the ending could have had more impact. 

"The Boy and the Heron" undeniably stands out for its exceptional visuals and its narrative that seamlessly combined reality and fantasy. Hayao Miyazaki surpasses expectations with flying colors in his latest offering.

Rating: 4 and a half reels

Post a Comment