Howl's Moving Castle
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Top Customer Reviews
Miyazaki's new film is based on a book of the same title written by Diana Wynne Jones. The film's story is told from the viewpoint of a 18-year-old girl Sophie, who is working at a milliner's shop every day. But she can hear the sound of bloody battles from the distance, and it is clear that this beautiful country, where witches and wizards live among humans, is going to see another war sooner or later.
But apparently Sophie is still leading an ordianary life until her uneventful routine days are suddenly broken by one accidental meeting with wicked 'Witch of the Waste,' who turns her into an old woman with a curse. Seeking for her place to live, Sophie goes to the wilderness where, the townspeople say, a young wizard named Howl wanders. In fact, Sophie encounters Howl's Moving Castle in the foggy moutainside, and she decides to hop in. There, forbidden to talk about her curse, she starts a new life with young and handsome Howl, who speaks to her kindly like a prince, but at times acts like a spoiled child.
[MIYAZAKI'S LOVE STORY] You will be impressed with many fantastic and colorful images created by Miyazaki.Read more ›
Sophie (Emily Mortimer) is a plain, unhappy young woman working in a milliner's shop -- lightened only slightly by a mysterious wizard who rescues her one day. But then the evil Witch of the Waste (Lauren Bacall) comes into the shop, and casts a spell on her, turning her into an ancient old lady (Jean Simmons). Sophie ends up wandering into the Moving Castle, a chicken-legged chaos machine, and encountering the sexy if childish wizard Howl (Christian Bale), smart-aleck fire demon Calcifur (Billy Crystal), and preteen apprentice Markl (Josh Hutcherson).
Sophie appoints herself the cleaning lady and starts whipping the castle into shape, trying to deal with Howl's temper tantrums and the war brewing all around them, and trying to cure her peculiar curse. But when she runs an errand to a castle in Howl's place, she finds that her new boss has some sinister problems of his own -- including his missing heart, and impending transformation into a monster.
Don't expect much fidelity to the novel; Miyazaki takes plenty of liberties with the story. As a result, it feels more like his story than Jones', with all the earmarks he usually has -- blobby monsters, colorful rural settings, intense anti-war messages, strange machines, and a Jules-Verne atmosphere of Victorian technology. But "Howl's Moving Castle" is very different from the others Miyazaki has done, since he kept the British flavour of the original book.Read more ›
Howl is a free person. He doesn't has a heart and even his home (which is usually characterized as a stable point in one's life) can move :-) He is disguised as different wizards in different counties, and when Sophie asks him how many identities he has, he said "Enough to guarantee my freedom". When Sophie confronts Suliman, she comments Howl as "selfish and cowardly and unpredictable, but he's straight as an arrow. He only wants to be free." But in Miyazaki's world, nothing is black and white. According to Suliman, Howl's power is too great for a person without heart, and he will eventually becomes a monster (some political figures come to my mind).
Sophie, on the other hand, is bounded by responsibilities. She is young, but her heart is old. She refuses the invitation from her friends and keep working at the hat shop. When her sister asks her "Are you going to spend your life in that shop?" She replies "It meant so much to papa. Besides, I'm the eldest.". Even her sister asks her to "look out for yourself".
When Sophie is turned to an old lady, it actually set her free because the good thing of being old is that one has "so little to lose" She becomes more adventurous and takes control of her life. She is very assertive as being the cleaning lady in Howl's castle and even tames Calcifer to cook her food. For Howl, his turning point comes when he refuses to move his castle anymore (I'll leave it to the reader as why he does that) By the end of movie, he regains his heart.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The movie came in perfect condition and played fine. It is English dubbed and I thoroughly enjoyed it.Published 5 hours ago by Evan
Great family friendly movie. The colors are beautiful and the story is amazing.Published 2 days ago by Mariana Jimenez
This is a wonderful film. It is very thoughtful and the animation is beautiful. All in all it is another great film from Studio Ghibli brought to the US by Disney. Read morePublished 6 days ago by Christopher Evans
Great movie I can watch over and over again. The blue ray has a great quality of sound and the features added are a nice touch. Read morePublished 14 days ago by stainlessgoddess
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