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.
An old man makes a living by selling bamboo. One day, he finds a princess in a bamboo. The princess is only the size of a finger. Her name is Kaguya. When Kaguya grows up, 5 men from prestigious families propose to her. Kaguya asks the men to find memorable marriage gifts for her, but the 5 men are unable to find what Kaguya wants. Then, the Emperor of Japan proposes to her.Written by
While the baby princess crawls to the cutter she tosses a piece of bamboo to the edge of the floor mat. In the reverse shot as she crawls back, it is missing. See more »
The Princess Kaguya:
Go round, come round, come round... come round, oh distant time. Come round, call back my heart. Come round, call back my heart. Birds, bugs, beasts, grass, trees, flowers. Teach me how to feel. If i hear that you pine for me, i will return to you.
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One of Studio Ghibli's last feature films before the legendary animation studio went on an indefinite break, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya is Isao Takahata's first picture in over 15 years and happens to be an eloquently narrated, gorgeously animated & patiently paced cinema that attempts to bring on screen one of the oldest tales in Japanese folklore.
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya tells the story of its titular character who was found in a bamboo shoot by a bamboo cutter who, believing her to be a divine presence, brings her home to his wife. Although this mysterious tiny girl grows rapidly into a young lady, dazzling all who encounters her, she eventually is left with no alternative but to confront her own fate.
Co-written & directed by Isao Takahata (best known for Grave of the Fireflies), this tale is crafted with precision care & elegance plus how all of it is animated brings an artistic vibe of its own. The use of colour palette, sketch-like animation & minimalist approach leaves a lasting impression, the voice performances are spot-on while Joe Hisaishi's score nicely compliments the whole narrative.
The Tale of the Princess Kaguya also covers the various restraints women find themselves in every facet of life, no matter what society they happen to be part of, and exposes that without preaching. However, its 137 minutes of runtime feels a tad too long, the final act is stretched, and although its creativity is undeniably impressive, the whole story kind of lacks that immersive element, much like Takahata's earlier works.
On an overall scale, The Tale of the Princess Kaguya brims with some truly astonishing images and is another winning marvel from the acclaimed studio. It's aesthetically pleasing, artistically fulfilling & emotionally gripping and there are going to be many who will have nothing but endless praise for the manner in which this ancient Japanese folklore is illustrated on the film canvas. As for me, I do admire a number of things about Takahata's latest but don't feel any love for it. Still, I've no qualms in recommending it to anyone for it is worthy of a broader audience.
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