More than just young love: Yoshifumi Kondō's Whisper of the Heart (1995)

April 7, 2014

More than just young love, the expansive subtleties of Yoshifumi Kondō's 1995 film, Whisper of the Heart, makes it quietly overwhelming. I can't even think of where to begin, from the small joys of spotting Ghibli 'Easter Eggs' that were both retrospective (since Howl's Moving Castle wasn't made yet) and a nod to already-made films like Totoro, Kiki's, Porco Rosso, Nausicaä, maybe even Laputa, to the sensitive and realistic portrayal of teens and empowered young adults growing, discovering, and entering into new but not novel conflicts, to the powerfully honest commentary on working and improving one's craft, be it art, writing, or violin-making. And much, much more.

 

This scene elevates any preceding high school romance elements to something greater, and to quote another review, utterly and "gracefully destroys every Disney song and dance number ever made". And although I admit that I burst out laughing at the last twenty seconds before the credits, the ending seems abruptly perfect in the world of young love.

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