“Do you have a 4 am movie?”
“A 4 am movie? Is that a thing? “ Do I hear someone whisper?
If not lets coin a new one… 🙂 Yep just like a 4 am friend…a friend who you think of when you have an emergency …a friend who will never fail you, a person you can tell anything and everything to…similarly, a movie that brings back smile on your face… or tears in your eyes…but still feel just right? I do, in fact quite a few…each one of them is from different genre…some of them are so silly that I can’t even explain why I love them! Roman Holiday, Emma (yep! that’s right), Apur sansar (Bengali movie by Satyajit Ray) to name a few( I know I said different genre! :p ). List of silly movies some other day…
But this one is my all time favorite… adored by many viewers around the world… a Japanese animation movie…My Neighbor Totoro! An animation movie? Did I loose some of you on that note…Don’t go away …keep reading… give it a chance and you will thank me later! Anyone who has an elder sister (or a younger one!) and you copied everything she did to the limit to piss her off can relate to this story… Or if you remember the time in your life when your mom was sick and how you wanted her to come home as soon as she can even when your dad did everything (he can) to make sure you didn’t miss her… Or if you had neighbors who turned family to take care of you! It is such a wonderful movie that will make your heart melt!
An archaeology professor moves to a new place with his two little daughters, Satsuki (7 years old) and Mei (5 year old). The mother of the kids is sick and is currently in the hospital and this new place is closer to the hospital. This place is old and looks like it was empty for a long time. Sometimes Change seems so hard for us to embrace but for these two kids they not only accept this new place and literally fell in love with it! When Satsuki goes to school and their dad is busy in his work, curious little Mei wanders around their new place. She finds a new friend totoro, the forest spirit! Soon Satsuki meets totoro and their magical adventure begins.
This movie reminds me of my childhood. The simple joys of life, problems with simple answers, the warmth of grandparents. It is based in a scenic Japanese village and the animation quality is excellent. It is a simple movie which is very close to human emotions yet this movie is a perfect blend of reality and magical elements…On one hand the movie is filled with scenes that can occur easily in anyone’s life and on the other hand its filled with Japanese folk stories, soots, totoro, the catbus and magic! For example, when Satsuki meets totoro for the first time he gives her some seeds as a gift. These girls plant those seeds and anxiously wait for it to sprout for days! Then totoro comes to their help in the night and together they all pray for the seeds to sprout. It is the most wonderful scene of the movie! In the morning the girls find small green sprouts where they had planted the seeds! Was it a dream or reality… You are free to decide!
I am in love with Mei. This cute little munchkin is curious, brave at the same time vulnerable, who bursts into infectious laughter, in a fraction of second can start welling her eyes on small little things and is stubborn about giving a corn that she has specially picked up for her mother. I feel like I am more like Mei… I have always been the pampered younger sister…People say the minute you have a baby you turn into a mother similarly the moment you have a sibling you turn into a big sister! I will call it a sister bug… Recently my sister gave birth to a baby boy. She has a 7 year old daughter as well, Anannya. I was so worried about my niece thinking how she will react to his birth. To my surprise, as soon as the baby was home she was the first person to run to him every time he used to cry! I remember before his birth she was pretty spoiled by her aunts and uncles but in two days she was a big sister. 🙂 I somehow never caught the sister bug… I am fortunate enough to have two elder sisters and a younger brother… but when you have a six feet tall brother (wasn’t born 6 feet obviously!) and a childish face (and behavior !) how can you become a big sister… 🙂 Just kidding!
No matter how many times I watch this movie, I cry at one particular scene. One day the kids get a telegram to contact the hospital immediately. Since their father is at work this creates panic and hours of drama for these two girls. In the end it turns out to be a false alarm. While the father is trying to sort things at the hospital, Satsuki who till now has been handling things in a unusually mature way, trying to act as a mother by taking care of house, at this point realizes that she is not yet ready to fill those shoes…she is just another young girl like her sister may be year or two older, behaves like her age, breaks down and says…”What if she (her mother ) never comes back from hospital?” I just can’t bear the thought of the kids loosing their mother!
The best part of the movie I would say is the catbus…It is a magical bus that can read your mind and take you there…in the end when these kids get worried about their mom…the catbus comes and takes them to the hospital so that they can see their mother… It’s been four years that I have been to India…one year I was on OPT (work visa) the other year my OPT was ending and then PhD and of course money! I wonder if I could find a catbus who will take me home without worrying about visa and stuff!
Do you have a 4 am movie? Share it in the comments!