Whisper of the Heart (Mimi wo sumaseba) (If You Listen Closely) Reviews
Shizuku Tsukishima is a girl who is the third grade at a junior high school and is the bookworm. She often go to the library which her father works , but notice the boy's name of "Seiji Amasawa" who borrows all the book which herself reads earlier, and reads it. Shizuku did not take time to know that Amasawa Seiji is a classmate, but is intrerested about Amasawa Seiji all the time.
One day she find a mysterious cat on the way to the library and run after the cat. The cat goes into the small antique shop "earth shop", and she meets old man, Shiro Nishi, in a shop. Mr. Nishi is a grandfather of Seiji, and he made a violin in an underground studio. Seiji have a dream to want to study in Italy to become a violin craftsman.
Shizuku is not understand what should she do in comparison with Seiji having a firm aim. She demands her's dream and begins to write a story.
It is certain that this movie is love story between Shizuku Tukishima and Seiji Amasawa but another theme of this story is "growth of Shizuku". She is troubled about the future and gets over it, and chase the dream is expressed finely.
What I was drawn into is because I can reflect oneself through the main characters and the story. The figure of Shizuku who pushes on without escaping from being troubled about the future gives courage to decide at the same time I move very much. And also this music played in this movie is splendid. The music expresses the complicated feeling of the main characters and sense of the seasons wonderfully. Especially, Because "country road" which is the theme song of the movie is music to become the key of the movie, I want you to pay attention by all means. It is tended to think that this movie is for teenager but even adults enjoy watching it. If you troubled with something and are depressed, I want you to watch this movie. Surely you will positive!
Whisper of the Heart doesn't present itself as anything other than it is: a coming of age story where it's about someone going for artistic expression and following dreams, but in a more specific way. It's not simply about someone being creative, but what happens when that someone feels they aren't good enough, or that someone they look up to - like Shizuku with Seiji Amasawa - is way ahead of them, and oh gosh, how can you show that other someone your work(?) This may sound specific but it's actually something many creative people go through, especially when first starting out, that feeling of wanting to tell something or express a feeling or a story through a narrative, and it just doesn't go up to snuff. Expectations one raises for onesself can become so complicated that it doesn't matter if you're on your way, or you will get there - that feeling in youth of not being good enough is one sometimes of embarrassment, and of real struggle especially at an age when the rest of a lifetime seems so long and boundless.
Some deep stuff is here in this movie, and yet on the surface it is still a wonderful movie for young people, adolescents for sure who can relate to feelings of young/first love, and the shyness that comes when you really like someone and can't say it - or if someone else likes you, and you think that person is really liked by someone else (or the paradox of the friend-zone or other). And all of this is told with nice, bright visuals, capturing more suburban/urban areas than one might see in, for example, Totoro. Because of its real-world setting, it makes the few moments so precious that do go into fantasy (again like Rises, there with the dreams); Shizuku has this story she's working on, and we get to see it unfold in some parts. The cat Baron and this magical other-world we see (and the evil 'other' car, who we see as the tubby gray cat throughout the film), is loaded with spectular, colorful imagery, and if one has the English-language dub Cary Elwes does a fine cameo voice in aristocratic-voiced level.
It's an interesting film in many ways, for the seeming simplicity of its story of young first-love and first-creativity and how crucial and heartbreaking it can be if it doesn't come out just right (or how, even if you get a compliment, it's still crushing on some level that it didn't come out even better, the thing of self-expectations), and how deep it goes into the soul. Also is how the filmmakers use country music (!) and make good use of it; a John Denver song called 'Country Roads' opens the film and then pops up now and again as the girls sing it. At first, I thought it was odd, like the Disney-dub producers wanted something, uh, for the country audience I guess. But it's part of the narrative to an extent, and one of the truly sweet scenes comes where Shizuku is asked to sing the song with Sheji's playing on the violin, and the shop owner and a couple friends hear the playing, come down to the basement and join in. In an almost unassuming way, this turns into one of the studio's triumphs.
Lovely little film! As per most Studio Ghibli films, the tale is simple, limited characters, and the story just rolls out. This film could just as easily been done live action, but then it wouldn't be a Studio Ghibli movie.