Review of 'The Tale of The Princess Kaguya (Kaguyahime no monogatari)'

the_tale_of_the_princess_kaguya.jpg One day a bamboo cutter working in the forest sees a glowing bamboo stalk come out of the ground and reveal a miniature woman dressed in fine clothes within. Taking her home to his wife she turns into a small child that they then raise as their own. The girl enjoys living in the forest and being with her friends. The bamboo cutter finds more glowing bamboo but this time having gold within which he takes as a sign that his “princess” should be raised as exactly that in the city where he buys a mansion for her.

After moving to the mansion the girl, now named “Princess Kaguya”, is thrown into a world she finds confining and depressing. Her search for her place in the world leads her to an inescapable conclusion.

Beautiful animation from Studio Ghibli. The hand-painted watercolour scenes are amazing with minimalist details leading a pleasant feel to the slow pacing of the action though when the action heats up the style becomes hurried and rough - Particularly when Kaguya tries to escape her palace prison where she is reduced to bare dark scribbles on the screen as she returns to the countryside.

We are drawn into this simple story as we concentrate on the only detail on the screen - The characters. The traditional Japanese values of honour and duty which a typical “western” audience would find hard to swallow - A “father” who puts his “child” through what is obviously difficult for her? Forces her to be something she does not wish to be. This movie is based around a traditional Japanese morality tale so these sentiments are obviously first and foremost here - A lesson to be learned.

An amazing piece of film-making. Moving, touching, and simply beautiful to look at. This is a long film but take a deep breath, sit down and let it wash over you - Get absorbed into the characters and you will be rewarded.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2015-03-21

Directed by: Isao Takahata

Studio: Studio Ghibli

Year: 2013

Length: 137 minutes

Genre: Japanese Animation

Other reviewed films by Isao Takahata: