Howl’s Moving Castle: The Craziest Ghibli Film You’ll Ever Watch (COMM 212)

On a boring day in my dorm room where I attempted to ignore my homework, I decided to watch a movie that was suitable for a movie review; one that would get people wanting to watch this particular film that made me roll my eyes and wonder “What the hell was going on the director’s head?” Ya know?

Anyway, so “Howl’s Moving Castle” is a fantasy-romance film by Hayao Miyazaki, the Japanese film director who won an Academy Award for his film “Spirited Away” in 2002. Miyazaki released “Howl’s Moving Castle” four years later, about a young girl, Sophie, who works in a hat shop, wishing her life were something more than keeping her father’s business afloat. After meeting a mysterious man in town, she returns home and gets attacked by the Wicked Witch of the Wastes, who places a nasty curse on her where she becomes an old woman and can’t tell anyone about it. Through her journey to find someone to break the spell, she comes face-to-face with the wizard from town, Howl, who has been rumoured to eat pretty girls’ hearts. Little does she know, he has a curse on himself as well, making it so that after a certain amount of time fighting in the war, he will permanently transform into a monster.

Though the film can be a little hard to follow at times, it’s full of nonstop adventure and can be appreciated by anyone who likes a little magic in their lives. The film can seem a bit too busy for some people, especially since the story-line takes place over quite a short span of time, but the film is still very enjoyable because of the blooming romance between Sophie and Howl, seeing as Sophie and Howl’s fire demon promise to cure each other of their curses and Sophie ends up becoming a member of Howl’s family very quickly. Through many ups and downs, Sophie learns how to fight for the people she loves with courage she never knew she had and Howl realizes that the only way to end a war is to stop running away.

Film Rate: 8.5 / 10

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