I stepped out of a movie theater happy yesterday, smiling and enjoying my surroundings. This is the feeling When Marnie Was There will give you after you’ve experienced it. This is clearly an A+ movie for me, so now I’m going to explain why the A+ is so well deserved and why When Marnie Was There will be regarded as a Studio Ghibli classic (I’ll also leave some stuff out to keep you in suspense).
The tone for this movie was set correctly right from the beginning. We’re introduced to the main character of the film, Anna, who is a shy, self-contained girl who is not comfortable with interacting with others and has no real attachments to anyone, not even family. In order to help her sort out her issues and relieve her of health problems, her guardian sends her off to visit her “Aunt & Uncle” for the summer in Kushiro.
Initially pessimistic about the situation, Anna warms up to Kushido little by little. Her aunt and uncle are welcoming, nice, lenient people who let her wander around the town as she pleases, and she even discovers an old abandoned house that she admires and becomes highly curious about. No real conflict happens until her aunt need to run an errand, and asks Anna to help her out. The problem with this errand is that it involves social interaction, something that she has not loosened her grip of, and is thrust into participating in a festival with some of the local kids by herself! She obliges, trying to make it feel through because the same, reoccurring theme happens at the festival that has happened throughout most of her life, when she feels comfortable enough to share something about herself, the people around her will draw their attention elsewhere, as if they’re holding a big “I don’t care” sign on their head. The breaking point happens when Anna is asked to write down a wish, and one of the girls grabs it, reads it, and an argument ensues (Note: Watching the end of the festival scene will either make you laugh, or give you a shock face, or both).
Angry and upset, she takes a boat to the old abandoned house to get away, and meets a girl named Marnie there trying to do the same thing.
Anna and Marnie strike up a friendship from the very beginning, telling one another facts about themselves from the small things to the bigger things that not even a handful of people should know. Along the way, we see that being friends with Marnie is helping Anna become a more open, happier person. There is more to this story past this point, but you will have to see for yourself because everything is that happens is connected somehow.
When Marnie Was There is definitely one of the most exciting stories that tackles a lot of different subjects. You can’t help but smile at this, it’s fun, serious, comedic at times, and will surprise you. Seeing this makes me wish that Studio Ghibli movies were less limited and be in theaters for longer time periods, but I guess their setup is what makes them special. Really excited I got the chance to see this in theaters and enjoyed every moment of it, I almost thought I was going to miss the beginning because it was showing at a theater that I had never been to before, so I spent time trying to find it, & I had to fool around with their slow ticket kiosk, but it was worth it.
If When Marnie Was There is coming to a theater near you, GO SEE IT!! Support Studio Ghibli and let them know that we want more. I’m personally putting this in my top 5 Studio Ghibli movie list, and can’t wait for the Blu-Ray release.
Check to see if there will be a showing in your city OR if you can request a showing at http://www.marniefilm.com/.
Let me know your thoughts on When Marnie Was There if you have already seen it, or Studio Ghibli movies in general. Favorites? Also don’t forget to share and subscribe to The Wingfield Blog!
Thank You for Listening,
Photo Credit: http://www.marniefilm.com