Wednesday, June 8, 2016

When Marnie Was There (contains a wee spoiler)

I first saw this first as a movie.  I have been slowly collecting Studio Ghibli movies ever since I fell in love with Hayao Miyazaki's Howls Moving Castle.    Like Howl's, this was also taken from a book and directed this time by Hiromasa Yonebayashi.  I have actually seen the movie three times now... the first time was with English subtitles which were a little confusing to follow.  I loved it anyway, the film was crystal clear and sparkling which is what I have come to expect from a Studio Ghibli production, and the story was intriguing.   There was such an open, honest sweetness to the characters Anna and Marnie, which gave an endearing quality to such love and friendship between two young girls.
    I next bought the book, which I couldn't wait to get reading (I had questions from watching the movie).  Naturally there are differences (as most movie adaptations have) but again, as with Howl's Moving Castle, the changes did not detract from the story.  I enjoyed reading this English version of what I had only seen yet as a Japanese story.
I then went back and watched the movie again just to compare to the book, while I was waiting for the English version to arrive in the mail.  I truly enjoyed it a second time. Like with any book or movie you see consecutive times, there is always new things to notice and appreciate.
Today I watched the English version.  I cried at the end.  Actually it was sooner than that, but when I began to cry it was at a very heartbreaking scene.  Marnie was begging Anna for forgiveness for leaving her alone at the silo (yeah it's a wee spoiler, but I just wanted you to understand that this is the moment that I truly began to understand the point behind this story), which is that there are many kinds of grief, which shape our lives years after the loss has occurred.  What Joan G. Robinson wrote is actually quite heartwarming, and is more about grief than I first realized.
It think it will become a great comfort book for me.
Grief issues aside, this is a great book and a wonderful movie. I wouldn't hesitate to buy them both.

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