Monday, 26 March 2012

'The Secret World of Arrietty' Film Review

Based on The Borrowers, Studio Ghibi's latest film is a beautiful reimagining of such a world with little people who borrow.

During Arrietty's  first borrowing, she is spotted by a young boy Sho who just moved into the house to rest before his heart operation. Having always been told to steer clear of Human beings, Arrietty is fearful of what being discovered would mean to their family. But when Sho seeks to protect her and her family, an unlikely friendship begins to blossom.

The pace of the movie throughout was rather slow. Whilst there was a slight buildup towards the end, it was not as dramatic as what I would've expected and the whole thing felt a bit melodramatic, lacking a sense of adventure.

Whilst the plot lacked intensity, it was compensated by the sheer beauty of the animation and the subtle details that this movie encapsulates. The focus here perhaps is admiring the world from a different point of view. From Arrietty's perspective, the world seems so dangerous- the creepy insects that are her neighbours, the predatory birds that inhabit her sky... 

I especially liked the subtle scene changes where a lady bird may fly off, or a bug crawls away, or water droplets falling off a leaf. This kind of attention to detail is missing in many films and add to the richness of this 'secret world' we are made to discover.

Emotionally, the film delivers its full impact at the very end. I'm not the biggest fan of how it ends, but it is a potential tearjerker both in terms of script and imagery. However, I did feel there could be a more conclusive ending in terms of tying the loose ends of what happens to Sho and what happens to Arrietty.

Saoirse Ronan- Arrietty
Tom Holland- Sho
Olivia Colman- Homily (Arrietty's mother)
Mark Strong- Pod (Arrietty's father)

Despite lacking an adventurous plot and a more climatic buildup, 'The Secret World of Arrietty' is a beautifully imaginative film that presents a stunning array if imagery with un underlying emotional story that will encapsulate many hearts.

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