The Life Lesson Learned From Howl’s Moving Castle

          Image Source: buzzfeed.com

One of the less popular films by Hayao Miyazaki is Howls’s Moving Castle. The lack of praise is mainly due to the plot being fanciful and strange. Unlike Spirited Away or My Neighbor Totoro, there is no innocence in the movie. The protagonists are likeable to a certain degree, but definitely not warranting pity or tender feelings. Despite all the criticism, this movie remains one of my favorites. Here’s why.

Howl’s Moving Castle teaches us a very realistic view on love. It’s never rational and it doesn’t make sense most of the time. In most of our daydreams about love, we imagine both parties being wonderful and sweet. We expect the two to end up together because they deserve each other and the world conspires to make it so. However, in Howl’s Moving Castle, this isn’t the case.

As I’ve mentioned before, both protagonists have their faults. Sophie is meek and accepts things as they are. When she is turned into an old woman, she just leaves without telling her family. She doesn’t fight for anything. Howl, on the other hand, is vain, impulsive, and childish. He believes that the whole world revolves around him. He doesn’t fight for anything either – and not because he is incapable (the whole film shows him to be a skilled magician) but because he is lazy and self-centered.

                        Image Source: fact.co.uk

As the two get to know each other, you can see how they slightly change. Sophie becomes more assertive and Howl more forgiving. But let me make this absolutely clear: they still maintain their personalities. Love does not change their core personalities–it allows them to adapt to each other instead.

This is why I like the movie very much. It still has the signature Miyazaki “lightness” to it. Audience members can still criticize the movie for pure entertainment only, but I love the portrayal of the characters; inflexible yet adaptive. Or maybe I read too much into the film.

Hayao Miyazaki has always been one of my favorite filmmakers. Learn more about why I think so by liking this Facebook page. David Berkowitz here.

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Star Wars: Three Reasons The Originals Will Always Be Better Than The Prequels

Image source: http://moviepilot.com/
Image source: http://moviepilot.com/

There has been very little debate as to which half of the Star Wars episodes are better. An overwhelming majority will always pick the original trilogy (A New Hope, The Empire Strikes Back, and Return of the Jedi) over the prequel trilogy (Phantom Menace, Attack of the Clones, and Revenge of the Sith). Here are three reasons the originals were superior.

The dialogue in the original trilogy stayed consistent and it didn’t try too hard. Luke sounded like a whiny teenager at times because he was in fact, a whiny teenager who wanted to see the rest of the galaxy. That was his dream. Anakin started off as a little jerk who thought he knew everything, the kind of kid everyone would find annoying at children’s parties. Annie grew up to be a Jedi, which was when he decided to be a whiny teenager. Why? Because the girl he had a crush on wanted him to wait a while longer.

Image source: http://aminoapps.com/popular/star-wars/
Image source: http://aminoapps.com/popular/star-wars/

There was a sense of urgency in the original trilogy that the prequels overexposed. When someone in the original trilogy activated a lightsaber, and the audience hears that sound and sees that beam of light, people knew something galaxy-changing was about to go down. Lightsaber scenes in the originals were few and far between, emphasizing the importance of the role of the sword in the story. The prequels had too many lightsabers and too many scenes with them in it, diminishing significance of the ultimate weapon in Star Wars lore. Good job George.

The cast of characters in the originals were a fun bunch. Sure the prequel trilogy had a ton of Jedis and a band of bad-ass Sith Lords, but they didn’t have Han Solo, Lando Calrissian, and all those other characters that gave an extra, enjoyable dimension to all that galactic strife.

David Berkowitz loves everything about film. He currently works in a film production company in Los Angeles, CA. To learn more about David and movies in general, read his blogs here.