Sunday, August 16, 2009

"Ponyo" (2008) - Movie Review

It is official. I am a cold hearted bastard. When the crowd in the theatre, giggled, cheered and were in complete amusement of this animation by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, I was regretting the decision to enter this cinema hall. I thought the kids in the film Ponyo and Sosuke were cute but I did not see the reason to be brightened up their excessively cheerful acts when the city is immersed under ocean water (which by the way caused by Ponyo’s little accident under water releasing the magical well of her father). This film aimed at the kids tries to be an anesthetic for the unrevealed calamity by using two cute faces and that seems so wrong.

I will be vilified for saying such a harsh statement on a film about kids but all I could think of during the tenure of this animation was this. When Ponyo modified herself as human runs on the high waves while Lisa, Sosuke’s mom is riding hard in her car to escape the waves and we got to cheer for it is not something I expected. Lisa is that lovable cartoon mother getting hailed even when she puts her kid and herself in high risk driving through passageway filled with sea water and then leaving Sosuke alone in the house with Ponyo to “help” the elderly on the other side of the town. These are some of the issues I had when it came with the nice characters the film drew. Others are countless.

Before I venture further into the flaws of this picture, there is one thing which is a pleasure view. That would be the hand drawn animation and the imagination of the Miyazaki. He provides the under water in a surreal sense and a wide range of weird sea animals which is a great work of creativity. The shore land is beautiful and the house of Sosuke is a place emanating holiday atmosphere.

“Ponyo” tells a story about a little fish girl living under water with her father, a guardian of the sea. Ponyo gets out to venture the world above and gets into contact with Sosuke, a little boy. Sosuke as the little boy loves the fish but soon loses to the father. The father here is not evil or villain. He simply knows about human and Sosuke while innocent now will become the wary human and become a jerk, like me. Ponyo equally has created interest over this little boy and through her magical powers becomes a human. The rest is how this story takes its course of total chaos and then asks us to say, “How cute” along with it.

Granted it is a kids film and it depends on these dialogues and instances where it makes the kid laugh but it depends on the innocence of these little children too much. Every one are not awed by the realization that there is an “underwater” supernatural and it controls the nature. There is a sweet scene wherein Lisa is upset on Sosuke’s dad a captain cannot come home that night. The house has a light which can be seen clearly from the ship Sosuke’s dad is. They communicate through which forms the best and legible reasonable sequence in the film.

“Ponyo” is not alone boring but goes on the path of incorrectness too many times. Its adults are foolish, reckless and obey the laws of screen writer making them to abide it. Throughout the film while Ponyo and Sosuke are treated as children, they are painted with words of love and then Ponyo is given the option to be human for good by what seems to be an union of the two kids. It is a child marriage glorified at its best and the worst is the film begs for the audience to be mesmerized by this act of love.

I am surprised by the popularity and the acclaim of this film. Apart from the spectacular visuals and inventive creativity in cartooning, this film is a fantasy in all the wrong places and completely out of place for a kid’s film. I am a great admirer for animation but this seem out of bounds. The only thing the film made me crave for is not the affection, love or nature but the need for hot noodles on a rainy day. Today it rained, I am going for noodles now.

No comments: