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Review of The Boy and the Heron: for his big return, the mason Is being Miyazaki up to the task?

© Studio Ghibli

We can say that Hayao Miyazaki gave us some nice scares. After two retirement announcements, the filmmaker finally quickly got back to work to offer us a final animated film. A farewell with great pomp for the man who has made generations dream for almost 40 years.

The Boy and the Heronwill have been long overdue. Miyazaki took several years to bring this new project to fruition, and not the least. After a release on the Japanese archipelago, the new animated film from the famous studio Ghibli is coming to us.

From November 1, 2023, moviegoers will be able to discover Hayao Miyazaki's new creation, The Boy and the Heron, in dark rooms. It's been 10 years since the Japanese director gave us anything. As for the latest film from the animation studio, it was released directly on Netflix in 2021 and it failed to hit the mark with spectators.

To say that expectations for The Boy and the Heron are high would almost be an understatement. Miyazaki is recognized as an accomplished filmmaker and an undisputed master in the field of animation. His new project is therefore expected around the corner and will certainly be scrutinized. Here's what we thought of the film The Boy and the Heron.

A spellbinding return

Ten years after the release of the film The Wind get up, which was initially intended to allow Miyazaki to bid farewell to fans, the filmmaker is back with The Boy and the Heron. This new animated film allows the director to once again show the extent of his talent, of which we have already been convinced for many years.

En 2023, Hayao Miyazaki is at the top of his game. Visually, The Boy and the Heronis splendid. Those who love the aesthetic of Studio Ghibli films will be delighted by this new work. Miyazaki put all his know-how into the making of The Boy and the Heron. Result: a marvel!

Each shot is captivating, the animation is exceptionally fluid and we can only praise the beauty of the film. For the music, Miyazaki called on his lifelong partner, Joe Hisaishi. In terms of form, there is nothing to complain about: The Boy and the Heron is sublime. Basically, on the other hand, the director should leave more than one spectator speechless.

Also read – The Boy and the Heron: here's what you need to know about Miyazaki's new masterpiece

A complexity that will cost Miyazaki a few feathers

< em>The Boy and the Heronis a final gift, carefully kept warm, that many will not really understand. Miyazaki gives us the touching story of Mahito. At the age of 11, this young boy was forced to leave Tokyo with his father following the death of his mother in a bombing during World War II. As he tries to get used to his new life, where his father has already started a new life with his late wife's sister, the angry boy will experience a real initiatory story led by a funny gray heron. /p>

In The Boy and the Heron, we find traces of a number of works by Miyazaki. A hint of the Wind Rises there, a hint of the Spirited Away, a little pinch of My Neighbor Totoro… But everything is darker. Not as much as The Tomb of the Fireflies by his sidekick Isao Takahata, of course, but still. At the same time, the starting point of the film is the death of the hero's mother, engulfed in flames, a terrible consequence of the war. This traumatic episode haunts Mahito throughout the film.

Before The Boy and the Heron, you have to be patient. Obviously, Miyazaki is in no hurry to dive into the heart of the matter and gives us the benefit of a contemplative first part, which has its charm. But it may not satisfy everyone.

Critique Le Gar&ccedil

© Studio Ghibli

The Boy and the Heronis more cryptic than other films that Miyazaki has already offered us during his career. Many layers, between fantasies, dreams, nightmares and reality, make up the feature film. It will therefore take more than one viewing to truly understand everything. Without instructions, it is difficult to know clearly what to do with the multiple puzzle pieces that the filmmaker entrusts to us during these two hours of viewing. Disjointed, too abstract, the appearance of a slightly feverish dream at times… If this complexity can slow down more than one spectator, it also makes up the beauty of the film and its messages.

A true mystical maze, The Boy and the Heronhas many things to confide to spectators who will listen carefully. So, for this last meeting, Miyazaki leaves us with a host of questions about the world, destiny and life… But also about the future of his own animation studio. At over 80 years old, what future can Studio Ghibli have when the filmmaker is no more? It is not for nothing that the original title of the film could be translated as How will you live?.

The Boy and the Heron will leave more than one spectator wanting more. Its rather enigmatic conclusion, however, allows everyone to be free to interpret the messages that Miyazaki tried to convey. But for wanting to be too cryptic, The Boy and the Heroncould ultimately be just a lightweight in the Japanese director's filmography.

< strong>Also read – 5 cult films by Hayao Miyazaki to absolutely see

The Boy and the Heron: a must-see?

Fans of Studio Ghibli should be seduced by < em>The Boy and the Heron. For this new work, Hayao Miyazaki did not do things by halves. The feature film is spectacularly beautiful and keeps your eyes entertained for two hours. You will also enjoy it, the score of The Boy and the Heron being entrusted to Joe Hisaishi, faithful sidekick of the director.

In reality, this is the essence of the feature footage which should cause the most debate. Abstract and disjointed, The Boy and the Heron definitely deserves more than one viewing to get all the keys and fully understand this cryptic labyrinth. But for anyone who likes to let themselves be carried away, the animated film should be a treat.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116