The Enchanted City: Miyazaki’s Masterpiece Review

MILAN – A long dark and scary tunnel, a boundary between the real world and an unknown fantasy that is unknowingly crossed by the Ogino family to reach their new home, but which, once crossed, will forever upset the life of little Chihiro. It opens like this The enchanted city (which returns to the cinema in a review dedicated to Studio Ghibli from 1 July to 17 August), with a sudden and unexpected trauma, with the shocking transformation of the parents into greedy and hungry pigs and with the shocking awareness on the part of the child to be left alone in a hostile world that rejects her. The enchanted cityas happens in Miyazaki’s more complex and multifaceted films, it begins with a dramatic break with the status quo so as to create an intricate narrative canvas that aims to rebalance a lost situation and at the same time allow the characters who draw the story to evolve and change.

An image of The enchanted city

This also happens to Chihiro, who first has to leave the place where she lived and the affections she has held and then is catapulted into a reality different from the one she was used to, a world full of spirits and divinities, faceless ghosts and witches. malignant. Self The enchanted city more than all the other Ghibli films managed to reach international acclaim with the victory of an Oscar and a Golden Bear, it is because the project by Miyazaki which in the original is entitled The disappearance of Chihiro and Sen manages to perfectly blend a strong oriental identity with a western emotional and narrative sensitivity. The difficult journey that little Chihiro must make is very similar to the path that Alice in Wonderland takes, a path towards what is unknown to be able to know and change one’s being, steeped and inserted however in Japanese folklore and spirituality.

A scene from the film

The protagonist, in fact, finds herself inside a huge spa complex where spirits and divinities go to relax and purify themselves, where human beings are not welcome and where Shinto spirituality permeates every space of that fantastic world. Hers is a path that starts from the bottom and must collide with the top, she is helped and welcomed by the mysterious boy Haku and the kind humanoid spider Kamaji who works in the boilers, thanks to the eccentric Lin she will be able to make space between the long corridors and to get used to resisting in that place and then reach the top floor where the witch Yubaba will make her sign a contract to work and with which she will hold her by stealing her name and starting to call her Sen (the witch only steals a Kanji from her that in Japanese reads Sen).

The enchanted city returns to the cinema in a review dedicated to Studio Ghibli

A troubled and at times dangerous adventure that will lead Chihiro to open up and to make a metamorphosis, to seek his true identity by colliding with his edges and his oddities, to change thanks to the traumas he undergoes and through the people he meets and the bonds he it will establish in a non-place which, however, will become more influential than reality. The one that creates Hayao Miyazaki with The enchanted city manages to go beyond every concept and cinematographic border, it is the perfect example of how animation is the right tool to go further, to take a step beyond the tangible to be able to tell reality itself from another perspective, reachable only by wonderful designs that manage to come to life.

The enchanted city
An image from the film

Miyazaki escapes from the real world to tell it even more deeply through his unique and personal poetics by tying a layered and compelling story together with a visual imagery incomparable to any other animated work. The keystone that has made Miyazaki one of the most important directors in the history of cinema is the ability to insert stratifications, to build a story capable of standing on multiple narrative and emotional levels which in turn manage to intertwine to unite in a filmic union. that flows perfectly, both to remain independent and to be understood and analyzed by those who have the ability to intercept them.

A scene from The Enchanted City

Thus a child is dragged into the heart of the story by the extraordinary visual beauty, the magical and mysterious aspect of the film and thanks to the direct empathy towards its protagonist, a teenager is struck by the friendship and love bonds that the film develops and an adult deepens and confronts the theme of pollution, work, modern capitalism, the cornerstones of Miyazak’s poetics and that even within The enchanted city they are present and fundamental. So, an animated film manages to go beyond all boundaries, break down all prejudices and escape from time, thus becoming an almost incomparable visual and narrative show that will live forever and that fortunately returns to the cinema, its place of belonging and the is the only place that deserves to welcome such a mammoth and fundamental work of art for cinema.

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The Enchanted City: Miyazaki’s Masterpiece Review –