Whispers of the Heart DVD Review - www.impuslegamer.com -

Feature 9.5
Video 9.0
Audio 8.0 *
Special Features   0.0
Total 8.8
Distributor: AV Channel
Running Time:
111 minutes
Classification:
PG
Reviewer:
Felix Stacia

8.0


Whispers of the Heart (1995)

You’d need to have the heart of Hitler to resist this lyrical indulgence in sentimental love. Part nostalgia, part love story and 100% stunning animation, writer Hayao Miyazaki tantalising tale as directed by Yoshifumi's Kondo is about a Japanese girl fretting about the big issues: falling in love, deciding on a future career—and—entering a good high school. Empathising with her priorities might require a bit of cultural relativism, but this should be abundant in a place like Australia, surely! 

Shizuku is a bright student from an intellectual family. She ends up developing a crush on a boy who wants to one day make violins to equal or even surpass Stradivari’s. Through him and his wise, antiquarian grandfather—who must surely have been modelled on Geppetto in Disney’s Pinocchio—she realises what love might be about and how writing about it is as much technique as it is emotion. 

The unconquerable appeal of its sweetness is that is never saccharine or overbearingly sentimental. Everything fits together logically and formally. The little things—like the insanely detailed city-scapes, the adorable yet iconic cat and the magisterial use of music—combine to create a world that is fantasy rooted in reality: the only fantasy I’m willing to embrace. 

Ah yes, how could I forget the unintendedly kitsch rendition of country music classic ‘Country Road’ into Japanese, with its incurable mangling of Rs and Ls?—make sure to let the closing credits keep rolling! 

*My preview disc did not have a Japanese soundtrack. 

Felix Staica






 
 



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