Wednesday, December 14, 2022

From Up On Poppy Hill

I can't think of a genre for this movie besides slice of life.

This is such a wonderful slice of life movie, I was severely questioning Studio Ghibli throughout this cause I was just wondering, "What is the magic ingredient and reason why Studio Ghibli films are as good as they are?". I mean really think about this, you have an animation studio who's only rival is Disney who themselves have distributed Studio Ghibli movies here in the States, their palette of stories is so broad it could be either pure fantasy or down to earth real life, and it effortlessly works it's way into your heart each and every single time to where you adore the movie when it barely has even begun. I was 12 minutes into this and I thought, what a sweet wonderful little film. Nothing has such power in this world except Studio Ghibli. When I explain the plot it sounds so dirt simple, almost like there's nothing to it but there truly is I swear. Alright, so the backdrop of this story is the 1964 Olympics held in Tokyo as we meet young schoolgirl Umi who meets and helps a fellow student named Shun keep his classmates center of operations for individual clubhouses from being demolished. That's pretty much the plot. There's no great drama, or adventure, there's not even a romance to it, it's just a simple yet strangely engaging story. Hence my previously stated remarks above. It's just a nice story with nice characters, there's no frills, bells, or whistles to keep you engaged. But it succeeds full heartedly in my opinion. There's still emotion and conflict, and something else that popped into my head is I don't actually consider Studio Ghibli movies for kids. It's silly to say, and not at all that children cannot understand the films but more on the basis that children couldn't appreciate the films like adults do. When I saw Spirited Away a very, very long time ago on Cartoon Network I didn't completely get it but I still very much liked the movie and there are moments when I could tell something was being presented that I didn't fully grasp emotionally or mentally. Watching it now I can see more and thus appreciate it more. From Up On Poppy Hill deals with the loss of a parent, a dedication to the past, how individuals deal with tragedy and try to move on. It's not super heavy or depressing even, but it is there. I wouldn't have grasped all of this at a young age, but I do now and I love the movie for that. It's difficult to explain but all too easy to feel. To see that time and place in the world is a great treat, even though you don't see major Tokyo landmarks in the mid 60s it's still cool. The animation is that same high quality, with pure art being showcased on the screen at times literally and figuratively, atmosphere has a great deal to play in these movies and I attribute that to Japan having a great deal of respect and admiration for nature. So to see a glimmering sea, sunsets amidst trees, even urban structures and cities, it just has this depth to it and we're not talking about perspective of the frame here. Something so simple but can speak great volumes, that's how I'd describe this movie. It's funny because I was picking what movies to review, upon reading the synopsis for this movie I was hesitant to add it because it just didn't sound like all that much, but there is a clear and distinct line from reading about a movie to experiencing a movie. 4 stars, I'm giving this an 8.5/10. A great movie no question, and tomorrow I've been waiting a very long time to finally see this movie so join me tomorrow as we take to the skies!

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