July 18, 2003

Princess Mononoke

dolphin puzzle.jpg

Ok, my puzzle is all finished, now what do I do with it? Do I apply some puzz-glue to it and immortilize my triumph forever? If so, where do I display it? How would I go about doing that? Bah. Sounds too complicated. Too many decisions involved. If I take it apart, do I think that I would ever trouble myself to put it back together again? Not likely! I'm thinking that I can't keep this charade up much longer, that puzzles really are my thing, because they just aren't. I felt no real reward when I put that last piece in. Truely, I found the entire process kinda pointless. Yeah, I'm an existentialist, what's your point?? Why waste time putting together puzzles, eventually you're just going to die and you won't be remembered for it. I believe I was channeling Camus' spirit there for a minute. I'm back to myself now, lol.

I need more coffee. Ok, while that's going in the microwave I'll tell you about what I watched last night. It was another film by Hayao Miyazaki (he also brought the world Spirited Away, Kiki's Delivery Service, as well as Castle in the Sky) , called Princess Mononoke. The best thing about this one, in particular, is how truly human the characters are. There is no bad guy. There is no good guy. Rather, each is inflicted with the human condition of being both, yet neither. A human settlement becomes embattled with the Gods of the forest over resources: The humans want to continue dredging up the deposits from the ground that they use to fashion their iron bullets with. The Gods want their home to remain intact. During the early stages of the battle a large boar is wounded with a bullet from the primitive weapons of the humans. The hate that this act brings to the creature turns him into a demon. The boar flees the battle, lands in a distant village, and encounters a young prince named Ashitaka. Some of the curse transfers into Ashitaka's right arm before he puts an end to the boar God's fury. He shows his wounds to the holy woman and is charged by the ominous stones to cut his hair and leave his home, never again to return. The boy takes with him the presumption that he is to seek out whatever put the iron into the side of the beast and that will bring him closer to finding a cure for his own malady. Along the way he meets many interesting characters, including Princess Mononoke and these cute little tree spirits, and he eventually learns that the humans and the Gods (of nature) need to live together in harmony.

This film was beautiful, and as usual, Miyazaki has taken expert care in portraying even the minutest of details. I could probably watch this DVD a hundred times over and still appreciate it just as much as the first. Actually, that's not a fair statement; I might find that I appreciate it more. Either way, I am pleased to have purchased it. Despite this being somewhat graphic (there's some body parts blown off here and there) I would still recommend it for children because the message is powerful and imperative.

I nearly failed to mention an interesting morsel of information. Author Neil Gaiman had a hand in the adaptation of Princess Mononoke. Anyway, I'll be exploring my thoughts on My Neighbor Totoro, yet another Miyazaki film I stumbled across last night while in Best Buy, sometime tomorrow afternoon.

-- CrystalShiloh @ 11:22 AM