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Review of The Boy and the Heron

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Hayao Miyazaki has changed his mind, he has come out of retirement to give his nephew and us the boy and the egret. Our review and reflections on the new Studio Ghibli anime.

In Japan in End of the thirties, Young Mahito lost his mother during the war and left Tokyo for the rural prefecture in the company of his father, who was about to marry the deceased’s sister. While exploring the surroundings, Mahito discovers A Mysterious tower This is it A portal to another worldBut with more than one connection to reality, including its own connection.

after The wind picks upWhich was supposed to be his in 2013 farewell from cinema, Hayao Miyazaki He did not last long as a forced retiree: we find him today Studio Ghibliat the age of 82, perhaps to say goodbye to her once and for all The boy and the heron. At this point it would be legitimate not to fully believe it, but there are good reasons now to acknowledge it Real curtain In this anime, which summarizes most of the characteristics of its cinema, especially the most visionary and imaginative ones.
Official control of the film, as often happened with Miyazaki, aims to favor one or the other The true livability of the cinematic experience: if space The setting becomes hospitable, lingering just enough on the watery backgrounds that now define the world details Historically accurate (note the interior), and now with Suggestions border on impressionism outside. Obsession, in an unconventional editorial rhythm that defies the dangers of downtime (not always avoided: the price to pay), isPay attention to the sound Which lends tangibility to these settings: the beginning of the film is practically told entirely by the film Mahito’s movements on different surfaces and through different environmentsIt is as if we found in the echo of those steps, those stumbles, that water, that bed, our physical exploration of this alternative world. As imagination takes flight, Joe Hisaishi’s soundtrack gives him a voice once again, to go where the dialogue and noise of reality can’t go.
In short, who do you look for in Hayao Miyazaki’s classic? The boy and the heron He finds him with all his people Hideous flashes which has The distant roots of fairy tales (The seven nannies are an obvious homage to the seven dwarves, an iconography that immediately underscores the emergence of fantasy in Mahito’s harsh life.)
But this time there is something else.

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Over the years, we have often had the opportunity to observe, through interviews or third-party reports, how Miyazaki never backed down Danger To himself, his son Guru, or the art of animation in general, he is experienced Accuracy and rigor. A position fully consistent with the necessity of announcing retirement, Eliminate any kind of self-indulgence. Existence itself The boy and the heron At this point it will look like one conflictBecause it seems to contradict this will Resolving the individual’s relationship with art and the public. In fact, after watching the film, you can see first-hand the reason behind this shift: it would have been more coherent to entrust this decision, this farewell, to a film, rather than to interviews or news outlets. Something remains pending: There had to be a story to welcome us, which was inhabited not only by the audience, but by the author himself. Yes, because it’s hard not to think that Mahito’s elderly ancestor in the story, kept captive to this alternate world, is his grandfather. Creator of the material universeHe is the same Hayao in all respects: there is something very intimate In the way he acknowledges his increasingly tired difficulty in keeping himself upright, eager to pass on a legacy… which is perhaps untransferable.
The Boy and the Heron elevates art (formal, cinematic, and literary) as the origin of everythingLife itself, in a short circuit between procreation and artistic creativity, in the abolition – albeit temporarily – Distances This time imposes on fathers and children, on new and old generations. A powerful message that Hayao said he wanted to dedicate to his nephew, but it’s also a wise consideration. Because the elevation, with poignant sweetness, is Anything but graniteIndeed: it was destined to leave room not only for new imagination, new life and new creations, but also for nature itself which has always been an inspiration for this art, and which now deserves to recover its creations.
In the Complex stratification References and meanings The boy and the heron You can get lost, you can get lost To endure Sometimes a disjointed, Carolingian structure (it is not sacrilegious to admit it), but one never loses gratitude for being Stimulate our curiosity. Hayao Miyazaki is not only an author who takes himself seriously; Demands that we take ourselves seriouslyin the role of spectators.
We will miss him.

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