Kari-gurashi no Arietti [Arrietty the Borrower] (2010)Saturday, 24. December 2011
Arrietty (Mirai Shida) and her family are borrowers – little people living beneath an old house, living off the stuff they “borrow” from the humans. Their first rule is to stay hidden and not let people see them, since they’ve had very bad experiences with humans – they are also the last of the Borrowers. But when Shô (Ryûnosuke Kamiki), a recovering young boy, moves into the house, he sees Arrietty – and they become friends of a kind.
The movie was, unfortunately, way too long to be enjoyable. It had very sweet moments that I liked a lot, but it should have been a good half hour shorter. Despite it being a very pretty film, I just didn’t connect with it.
The best part of the film is when the strange borrower shows up. I loved how he always reacted to Arrietty – that was wonderfully done. The second best part was whenever they showed Shô from Arrietty’s perspective – the way he moves really slowly and you really feel like he’s huge. That was perfectly done as well.
I thought that Arrietty was a really cool character and a proper heroine. Nevertheless I never really connected with her or really started rooting for her. And I really did not like Shô or Arrietty’s mother. I found both of them pretty annoying. Though not as annoying as that housekeeper I just didn’t get.
But the film’s worst enemy was the pacing. It’s only about 90 minutes long, but it feels as though it was at least twice that. It just drags.
The visuals were wonderful. Very worthy of a Ghibli film. But unfortunately, nothing else could really keep up with the other movies by Miyazaki. I’m inclinded to think that it is because he didn’t direct this film, but Ponyo also wasn’t that great anymore. Maybe the magic Ghibli/Miyazaki period really is over…
Summarising: It’s okay, if too long. But you’d expect more from the people behind it.