Towards the beginning of this decade I saw a movie called Monsters, Inc. What the hell, just another animated movie, were the thoughts that were going through my mind as the movie started.
It took me a couple of hours to become a Pixar addict. I made it a priority henceforth to watch all Pixar movies (whether full-length or short), and scorn at any non-Pixar animated movie. So when a friend had suggested a Japanese one to me, I was sceptic. I had never heard of Studio Ghibli or Hayao Miazaki, and neither did I have an idea about Japanese animation (with the, well, somewhat non-trivial exception of Hentai).
In a nutshell, I was somewhat sceptic when I started watching Gake no ue no Ponyo (Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea, or simply Ponyo, as many websites prefer to call it). My scepticism increased the moment I realised that it was a two-dimensional movie (What? They still make them, the 2Ds?). I had started to wonder whether I'd be able to sit through it.
Their world, like their everything, is full of dreams we dream of. If Pixar is about technique, then Ghibli is about an incredible variety of colours and shapes. It's impossible to believe that sheer imagination and refusal to grow up can take animation to such high standards in the 21st century. The quality of animation is so good that you forget that it's two-dimensional. Never have emotions been so real and world so surreal with techniques that most studios would label as outdated.
Definitely a watch recommended, if you haven't killed the five-year old that you once used to be. You might even hate yourself for having grown up. I do.
BANNER CREDITS: RITUPARNA CHATTERJEE
A woman with the potential to make it big. It is not that she cannot: she simply will not.
PHOTO CREDITS: ANIESHA BRAHMA
The closest anyone has come to being an adopted daughter.