The Boy and the Heron Movie Review

J. Shruti

You Feel Pulled

Hayao Miyazaki’s oeuvre has made a case for resisting the egoistic impulse to arrive at a meaning. The Meaning. In that sense, it resists sloth-like comfort. But, in his latest film, you feel pulled.

Based on Yoshino's How Do You live

The conundrum of neatness becomes meta when you obsess over the detailing in the film. The Boy and the Heron is purportedly based on Genzaburo Yoshino’s How Do You Live — a work that only accessorises the actual film.

Revels in Dignifying Unknowingness

The film, like the rest of the auteur’s works, revels in dignifying unknowingness. But, one shouldn’t have to pull out subtext to make sense of a narrative, even if it is supposed to be perplexing. 

Blurring Lines and Learnings 

But there is something to be said about Miyazaki, and his film, where even when he enables such an easy reading of the text, as a whole it still remains vastly generative and bewildering. There is a protest against firm categorisation here

Offers an Answer

Yoshino’s work, and the film, do not resemble each other when it comes to events. But, just like the book, Miyazaki offers a story, and an answer. A simple one.

The Answer

Perhaps idyllic living is a constant negotiation with the ugliness that continuously manifests, and no illusion can save us from that reckoning. Miyazaki’s protagonists just seem to realise this sooner than most.