Howl’s Moving Castle– Movie Reviews by Ry!

Howl’s Moving Castle – Heart of the Curse: Sofi’s Tale

The wonder of the arts come in many forms.  From the escape of the adventure to the endearment of love, the attachment is few and far between.  One of those form of art is anime.  From the unique characters to imaginative worlds, it can take you on trips unimaginable.  In this Old School Rewind review, I look at one of Studio Ghibli’s animes that push this feeling with magic and love.  Even in its typical start, Howl’s Moving Castle is the definition of the essence of wonder.     

When Sofi (Chieko Baishô – voice) is cursed by the Witch of the Waste (Lauren Bacall – voice), she leaves her home to find the wizard, Howl (Christian Bale – voice).  This leads to a journey where they learn there is much more between them than a spell.  The first half begins by using the drop-in method; placing the audience directly into the world without explanation.  You are quickly thrust into the lives of Sofi, Howl and the kingdom.  You learn that magic is prevalent, and the kingdom is at war.  There is a sense of unconscious fluidity, creating a bond where the general escape (and anime topes) create an aura of mystery and irony of acceptance.  As the story slowly unfolds, the prevalence of discovery becomes a welcome delight to the fragility of Sofi’s curse.  She becomes enamored but unwelcome to those around, leading to her traveling into the wilderness alone.  Once she meets up with Howl, it leads to a pure relationship because of the genuine appeal of oddities.  As they journey to other parts of the world, they learn (through conversations) the darkness that lies within the kingdom.

The second half pushes the anime art form, creating scenes that showcase the magic and mysticism of the world.  This brings revelations where the characters are forced to face dire choices.  As the story progresses, the scenes are layered with surreal and colorful animation.  This parallels the emotional accord of the cast where passions of the heart come into conflict with a world on the brink of war.  This brings the story into displaying animation at its finest.  The visual enchantment generates a genuine touch of characterization, leading to a climax of solemn self-reflection.  Howl’s Moving Castle gives you a journey that is ripe with strong storytelling, characters and a fantastical escape.  Even as things might seem odd, the compliment of the journey is within the lasting of endearment.  If you’re a fan of anime or want an escape into fantasy, this is one for you.  This is available on HBOMax, so check out this award worthy film.

Full Score – 4.5 out of 5 (Award Worthy)

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