My Beautiful Girl, Mari - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

My Beautiful Girl, Mari Reviews

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½ February 19, 2015
One of the most original animated features I've ever seen. Lyrical, nostalgic, fantastical, and visually stunning. Will watch over and over.
April 19, 2014
find trailer

Want to see, can't find.
½ June 17, 2012
A tepid intent of approximation to childhood memories.
March 25, 2012
I'm Pretty Sure It Isn't Technically Anime

If nothing else, this is for once a movie where a Young Boy's Coming of Age isn't completely about sex. There's a girl, and I kind of started to feel as though there was more between the two boys that the movie was entirely telling us, but mostly, it was a boy learning how to deal with the Adult World. This is refreshing, if nothing else. I really get tired of these Classic Movies where the only way they work as a story is if you can accept that sex is the most important milestone in a young boy's life. And while I do freely acknowledge that young boys think an awful lot about sex, I think there's more to becoming an adult than just developing sexuality. In fact, I tend to think that the development of sexuality is the most boring part of growing up. I can't help wondering if this is another Guy Issue. Though I never really talked to guys about it when we were all Coming of Age ourselves, of course.

Namoo is finding life difficult. His father is dead. His mother has a boyfriend. His cat keeps running away. His grandmother talks about dying. His best friend, Jun-ho, is going away to school in Seoul. The Tough Girl doesn't like him. Even when people try to include him, he doesn't feel as though he belongs. Through a series of events which I didn't entirely follow but which don't entirely matter, he discovers that taking a certain marble to the top of a disused lighthouse will cause a magical Thing wherein he ends up in another world entirely. There, he encounters Pale Flying Girl Mari. Jun-ho doesn't believe him, but Namoo keeps returning to the other world. Things are better there for him, even if he doesn't entirely understand what's going on. He just goes flying on the back of this big fuzzy thing through a beautiful landscape where no one is abandoning him. Jun-ho doesn't believe him; would you? But Namoo is happier there than he's ever been anywhere else.

His grandmother tells him that his mother needs a boyfriend, because his grandmother is going to die and he's going to grow up and move away, and his mother should have someone. And I can accept that. I'm sure Namoo didn't want to think about it that way, but it is a decent point. I've often wondered how different things would be now if my mother had found a boyfriend, whether before or after we left the house. (Well, two of us did.) A lot of kids never quite learn how to think of their parents as people, and it's just as well that Namoo learn that now, because it might come as a horrible shock later. In a way, this is one of those Coming of Age moments, the moment when you realize that your parents' lives do not begin and end with you. Jun-ho's family is sending him off to Seoul because they think it's better for him; arguably, it is. But no one ever asked him. His family needs to learn that he is a person with feelings as well--and he needs to learn to take on his own fate.

I wanted to be more impressed with the art than I was. It was lovely, but it also felt somehow incomplete. It was as if the characters were paper cutouts that had been drawn on. The world Namoo enters was exquisite, but the Real World didn't grab me quite as much. It was kind of like all the vision available for the movie was taken up by its specific unreality, and there was none left for reality. And yet some of the places shown ought to be quite lovely. There's that lighthouse through which Namoo enters his fantastic world. It's on a bit of shore some distance from the city, far enough so that it ought to be really beautiful. But it isn't visually interesting much at all. The art looks better from a distance than up close, not in the way that pointillism, say, does, but because if you're far enough away, you can't see how much it looks like bits of it are missing. It fades into a pleasant blur.

It's true that I've had a busy day, and that may have been part of it. I went to a memorial service and a birthday part both today, and it's my ninth anniversary with Graham. I'm pretty wiped out physically and emotionally. So maybe it was me, but I really had a hard time concentrating on this movie. I wasn't all that interested in the characters or what they were doing. There was this whole big Thing a while ago about how boys won't watch stories about girls, but stories about boys are somehow universal. I do not believe this is true. I will say that I think most of what Namoo is going through is still pretty typical, but I also did not think all of it was very interesting. Again, maybe that was me. But there was nothing about him which grabbed my attention. Honestly, I just found this movie kind of boring, though it was able to distract me at least a little in several places. I liked it just enough to give it a positive review, and I'm wondering how much of that was that it was a story of a pubescent boy that wasn't obsessed with sex. Am I the only person who finds our cultural fascination with that storyline a little creepy?
June 24, 2011
Too much CGI for my taste, but still beautiful and fantastical.
October 9, 2010
The otherworldly animation was lovely, but the story was less than engaging, though it had its moving moments. Watching the mannerisms of the cat was often the most interesting thing going on.
August 22, 2010
Dreamy animation about childhood and how we used to live in our own little world back then.. The character drawing style is a bit distracting, could be better or at least of different style.
December 25, 2009
Truthfully, I was lost trying to follow this South Korean important but I suspect it didn’t make that much sense in the original Korean. It seemingly deals with a boy who finds a magic marble (I wonder what that would be worth on Antiques Roadshow?) which grants him entry into a magic realm where the furry Mari flies around on a big…uh dog maybe? The fantasy realm takes Jun-Ho out of his rather poor, rural world where his parent own a fish shop. That’s about it as far as the plot goes but yet the 86 minute running time still crawls on by. Having said all that, it is a beautiful exercise in animation particularly the opening seagull sequence.
Super Reviewer
½ October 24, 2009
This Korean animation is a beautifully artistic film, that also contains a lot of heart. It perfectly captures the joys of childhood, from a reflective view of an adult. This makes for a sweet, but never patronising, view of the innocence of friendships from years gone by. The animation remains simple, perhaps too much so for some, but it keeps it's focus on the story and that's what counts.
½ August 28, 2009
It's really not that great. When I first watched this it was an animation style I'd never seen before, plus I'd never seen any Korean anime so I was curious and I bought it. Shouldn't have bought it. Wouldn't do that again, but whatever. My video store wasn't cool enough to have this at the time. I've seen this two or three times; each time hoping to get something more out of it an pretty much failing. At least I get what was going on now, but I can't say I like it much more than when I didn't get it. :\ It's okay.
½ April 2, 2009
Prima volta che vedevo un film d'animazione coreano. Un ragazzino che vive in un paesino sulla costa, riesce a penetrare in una realtà parallela surreale attraverso un faro inattivo da tempo. Lì incontra una ragazzina, Mari, di cui si innamora. Molto interessante e molto realistico riguardo i problemi adolescenziali del protagonista, nonostante sia una storia di fantasia.
February 24, 2009
everything has been said about this movie, if I had to praise just one aspect it would be the tenderness with which it depicts the life and feelings of twelve-year old boys. In traditionnal fiction they are ridiculed or despised. here there grace, their sincerity and their imagination were magnified. that alone makes the movie worth seeing. how this is done gets it 5 full stars.
February 7, 2009
the animation is done well and certainly different in style from western or japanese anime. i can't say i was able to follow the storyline completely - honestly think i might give it a better rating if i watch it again.
January 21, 2009
The animation was very pretty: dreamy and soft; however, the story itself seemed to fall a little flat for me. Nam-woo is a stereotypical growing boy struggling with his best friend leaving for Seoul and his mother's new boyfriend. To escape, he discovers a dream world where he meets a girl named Mari. If you have the opportunity to see it, do so!
December 26, 2008
The animation was absolutely beautiful- a pleasure to see. Where the story is concerned, I think the cat stole the show.
½ November 22, 2008
Two-and-a-half stars for the beautiful, engaging animation. Zero stars for everything else. Slow moving works when you have great characters to back it up. However, the characters presented in this are dull and lifeless. The one character that might have brought a spark to the movie ends up being presented as nothing more than a stereotype. Oh well. It is really cheap used online, so it is worth the price of admission for the visuals.
½ October 10, 2008
While this movie may lack in profoundness and clarity, it makes up for it with beautiful visuals and a touching, well done, character based story.
½ June 11, 2008
fantasy and reality alternate and intersect in this beautifully animated korean film. the animation is fascinating. the fantasy scenes in particular are amazing. although it took some time to figure out the plot, which seems secondary to the music and the animation, i nevertheless enjoyed the story of nam-woo, his family, and his friend , jun-ho.
½ June 1, 2008
Boring story, animation got tiring to watch after awhile.
April 1, 2008
Beautiful animation and music. Unfortunately lacking in the story department. Slow moving. Starts things but doesn't end them...but that's sort of a point made in the movie, I guess. I don't know. Despite it feeling like it was dragging the whole time, the animation and music alone make it engaging enough to watch.
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