Monday, August 27, 2007

We are sooo small...

(click to enlarge)

Every now and then man needs to remind himself of his real place in the grand scheme of nature.

On a lighter note, can you spot the cyclist passing under the tree? This tree is really huge!!!

Monday, August 06, 2007

When was the last time you saw a movie and became silent....

There are some movies that leave you spell bound. Very few. "Grave of the Fireflies" is definitely one among them. As one of the reviews on imdb said "It is the best movie you will never see again". The effect the movie has on the viewer is that strong.

It is the story of a brother (Seita) and a sister (Setsuko). Father is serving in Japanese Navy. They just lost their mother in an air-raid. No news about the whereabouts of the father yet. There are no surprises in the movie at all... Its just one boy's struggle to keep his sister and himself alive through the war.

I liked the movie at multiple levels:
It is a movie centered around the human cost of any war. Countries may win the war... But people always lose. For every Seita and Setsuko in Japan, there will be an Ann Frank in Europe. No matter who wins the war, people on both sides lose. This is unambiguous message from this movie.

In Setsuko, I saw a sister that I never had. She is such a lovable character. I would have done all (perhaps exactly all) that Seita did to keep her safe. Whether you have a sister or not, the love between Seita and Setsuko will touch any body.

Setsuko is oblivious to the war surrounding her, changing the course of her life... She shows how much love a child can offer when she inquires about Seita's well being after being beaten up. In fact, at that moment she needed the doctor more than Seita. She is an outstanding example of the collateral damage of the war. No matter how pure at heart you are, the hatred purported by warmongers can burn you down.

The animation - You may wonder why did they not do the movie with real people. The answer can be got in parts when you look at the expressions of Setsuko. Children can not act. You just have to create an environment where they would say the dialogs naturally... And it would bring tears to anyone to create an environment to get Setsuko's reactions.

Its a period movie. War movie. Set in Japan (Axes forces). Still it does not have any gruesome details of the war. The director is fully focused on the message of the movie and has not dramatized any where.

Must watch. At least once.

PS: There is one more war movie by the name "No man's Land". It also depicts that nobody "wins" against a war. But that was a movie about people who were involved in the war with (brainwashed) hatred towards the others.