Sunday, September 27, 2009

#128 - Princess Mononoke [Mononoke-Hime] (1997) , 134 mins.

Alf: I hadn't seen this movie since I was a teenager, I think I remember thinking that it was a little confusing back then. It made a little more sense now...but there are still some odd moments in it.

The story starts off when a village out in the middle of nowhere is attacked by a Forest god who had become a demon. The main character (Ashitaka) goes on a quest to find out where he came from. If I were to spell out the rest of the ongoings, it would sound I won't, but basically, Forest gods are becoming angry that a near-by town is destroying their forest to make guns and ammunition. In between everything, there is still sort of a love story, when the main character falls in love with a girl who had been raised by one of the Forest gods (San).

The movie is worth watching, even with all the "save the planet" messages in it. I wouldn't recommend it for kids, even though it's animated. There are a lot of cut off limbs, decapitations, etc. Enjoy! :)

Beth: I didn't know anything about this movie before I watched it. I assumed it had something to do with a crazy anime assassin girl. It actually turned out to be a weird, violent, anime-version of Fern Gully. Now, I loved some Fern Gully growing up. It got me all excited about saving the environment because they made the forest a living thing with feelings. Princess Mononoke tried to do the same but in such an abstract way, it was hard to feel connected.

Mononoke took a more realistic approach to an environmental solution than Fern Gully: saying that nature and people can live in harmony. Much more realistic than just saying that people should stop cutting down trees. Meanwhile, the movie isn't just making a statement about the environment - it also talks about women's role in society and about reaching out to those that society shuns. I think. It's hard to understand if the enemy of the environment could be the savior to humanity. Or if she's just manipulating the downtrodden to get the results she wants. But it definitely treats some heavy topics (lepers and whores). All the while, developing a love story that sort of falls flat at the end.

Watched on 9/19/2009

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