ANALYSIS OF SPIRITED AWAY
Spirited Away was directed in 2003 by Hayao Miyazaki. The film is touted as one of the best animation movies ever produced. It was note a surprise when it became the first animation movie to win an academy award. The movie is set in Japan and it is based on the life of a young girl known as Chihiro. In the movie, the girl and her parents are in the process of relocating to a new town. However, the fate of the family takes a dramatic turn when the father of the Chihiro decides to take a detour and the family looses its way only to end up in a strange place filled with spirits. Finding someone who doe not like the film is difficult because audiences relate with it in many ways. The film looks like a children’s film but it has dazzled people across age groups. Various themes are put across in the film and they have been understood by viewers as designed by the filmmakers.
One of the key standouts in the film is the story telling. The writer of the movie adopted the technique of leaving opening the interpretation. As a result, different viewers have adopted their own perceptions about the film according to their point of view. The open interpretation technique is one of the reasons behind why the film resonates with children as well as adults. For children, it is a tale of adventure and discovery. Children are intrigued by the happenings in the forest. On the other hand, adults are kept at the edge of their seats by the straightforward drama that is in the film. Adults are consumed by the drama and they cannot wait to find out what is going to happen next after each scene.
The screen design of the film is still a benchmark of animation films to date. The film is said to have brought animation to life. The frames of the film are alive in most contexts. Quite so, even the backgrounds are immobile but they still seem to sparkle with life. The scene of the bathhouse is one of the best in the film in this context. In the scene, motion is seen in the entire room. It baffles to analyze the amount of creative work done to present such a scene because it looks like hundreds of creative people were congregated to create the perfect shot. The level of attention to detail in the film is high. Most non-animated films are unable to reach the standards set by the film.
In the film, many literary styles have been incorporated to bring out the themes of the film. One of the themes is allusion and it used to bring out a mythological and historic context about the film. One of the allusions is on the sex trade in the past years of Japan. In the Edo era, most brothels were found close to bathhouses. In the film, the term used to describe the women running the tab is the same one used on the prostitutes who were in the tabs. Yubaba in the films alludes to the queen who was in charge of running the brothel. Additionally, it is seen that the workers in the tabs are semi slaves. Historically, the workers in the brothels were slave and all the proceeds went to the proprietors of the entity. In the film, Chihiro has to work to pay off her parents’ debt. In the same way, children had to work to help their families when they were financial problems. As s result, most of the girls found themselves in prostitution because they could not find alternative means of raising the money requires.
In the film, all characters are caught between being good and evil. No-Face and Haku seem like noble characters at first by they morph to evil characters as the film progresses. On the other hand, some characters seem evil at the beginning but halfway into the film they change and become likable characters. Characters that were evil at the beginning include, Kamaji, Lin and Zeniba. The unlikable characters help Chihiro in her escape and that changes the audiences view about them. The main character Chihiro is also despicable at first, but she reveals a better side at later stages of the film. The reflection of good and bad reveals the correct position of reality. People act differently for different people and environment. One might be celebrated by some people and admonished in the same measure by others. Humans are not consistent in their actions.
Symbolism is also used in the film significantly. Water is a symbolism of a combination of death life and freedom. The young girl tries to escape from the park she is surprised to find the dry ground filled with water and she is not able to cross. Whereas water is seen as water stops Chihiro’s movement in that scene, later on she depends on it for livelihood because she has to work in the bathhouse. The representation of life is seen when Sen Works pours liberal water to save the spirit of the water. In the process, Sen almost drowns but she is protected by the spirit that she has managed to rescue. Flight has always been used to symbolize an ominous being and it is not different in Spirited Away. In the film, Yubaba morphs into a bird to watch over her dominion. Her flight is said to resemble that of a military plane to show her greatness. In the same way, Haku has to fly in order to execute special missions.
It is possible to interpret the film in many ways through various themes. It is impossible to understand the film fully because it takes the perspective of many to make an informed position. The film has hidden themes for intellectual analysis but at the same time, it offers entertainment value. The film addresses some ills in the society. Art is supposed to be the mirror of the society. On interpreting the themes, individuals are supposed to introspect on the aspects that they can improve on in order to make the society better.