28 November 2014

かぐや姫の物語 Kaguya-hime no Monogatari

Title: かぐや姫の物語 Kaguya-hime no Monogatari
English Title: The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Country: Japan
Language: Japanese
Year: 2014
Cast (Voice):
  • 朝倉あき Asakura Aki
  • 高良健吾 Kora Kengo
  • 地井武男 Chii Takeo
  • 宮本信子 Miyamoto Nobuko
  • 高畑淳子 Takahata Atsuko
  • 西島秀俊 Nishijima Hidetoshi

Found inside a shining stalk of bamboo by an old bamboo cutter and his wife, a tiny girl grows rapidly into an exquisite young lady. The mysterious young princess enthralls all who encounter her -- but ultimately she must confront her fate, the punishment for her crime.

Kaguya-hime no Monogatari is a fascinating animated film that makes you think about your own definition of beauty, happiness, and life. It is actually based on the Japanese folktale The Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.

I first heard about the movie when it was featured in 夢と狂気の王国 Yume to Kyôki no Ôkoku, a documentary about its production company Studio Ghibli and, to a certain extent, its elusive director Takahata Isao. I was looking forward to watching it and I was suitably impressed.

I think Kaguya-hime no Monogatari is made for an adult audience because the scenarios have deeper interpretations, and the moral lessons are quite complicated. For instance, it would be quite difficult to explain the ending to viewers who are not mature enough to understand that fairytales and happily-ever-afters don't always happen in the real world.

かぐや姫の物語 Kaguya-hime no Monogatari