The Boy and the Heron Movie Review

Team FC

Of Grief, Legacy and Magic

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.

Looking Back and Looking Forward

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.


The heron, though one of the titular characters, flits in and out of the story, almost like a meta-presence rather than a fleshed out, ravaged, and lived-in entity. 

Blurring Lines and Learnings 

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.

Requires Subtext

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. 

Book to Film

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. Miyazaki’s protagonists just seem to realise this sooner than most.