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Before I start the review, I wish to give a head’s up. This review will be very different from the other reviews I’ve done for Miyazaki Mania. For the most part this review is going to be a straight up rant about the main character. As such, I’ll name one or two of the minor things I liked and disliked about the movie first – then move on to the rant portion of this review.
What did I like? The sidekick of the main villain - - I thought he was a very enjoyable character. I also liked the three old men from the valley. Hard to explain why, I just felt a sort of kinship with these characters. I also liked the animation - but that’s a no-brainer since it is a Miyazaki movie.
What didn’t I like? For the most part, the backgrounds in this movie are very boring. I also didn’t like the male lead who came in about half way through the film. I found him very generic. I didn’t like the fact that one of our main characters, Lord Yupa, was built up as being one of the greatest swordsmen in the world and then when we do see him fight, it lasts for about 20 seconds and is overall pretty anti-climactic.
Now there are a few specific scenes I didn’t like, so I’ll run through them very quickly. There’s a scene about a third into the movie, when 4 ships the size of the empire state building with guns mounted on every surface they can find, are all taken out in the span of 45 seconds by a 15 year old pilot driving a plane the size of a Volvo. I also didn’t like the whole subplot about how they are reviving one of the ancient giants, mostly because it lead to absolutely nothing and was probably the third biggest letdown in the movie. The last scene I had a problem with was when Nausicaa’s flying through the air in a pink dress. Then, after colliding with an airship, she falls on a small island and her dress suddenly changes colour, to blue. This was really weird and unbelievably distracting. There was a huge fight scene going on for the next 5 minutes and all I could think about was how Nausicaa’s dress could change colour in mid-air.
Now I’ll move onto the rant and I would just like to say, spoiler alert! I will be covering this movie right down to the end, so I’ll just come out and say it, I hated this movie with a venomous passion. I said in a previous review that Howl’s Moving Castle was my least favourite Miyazaki movie. Well, forget that! This movie took the cake and ate it. And just about all of my hatred toward this film can be summed up in the fact that I hated the main character - outright hated her. One of the main reasons is that she’s perfect. Absolutely perfect. She’s smart, she’s athletic, she’s strong, she’s emotional, she’s caring. She’s gallant. She’s every freaking thing you could want in a person and she has no flaws. And I’m sorry, that really makes me angry. Because that is not realistic. Nobody’s perfect, people have flaws, people have quirks. That’s what makes us people. This girl is so perfect she could run for Jesus II. And after a while she stops becoming a character and starts becoming a mouthpiece for the message of this film. Every other line coming out of her mouth is a miniature lecture about how war is bad, the forest is good, polluting the environment is bad, and how nothing in the world can ever be the fault of the animals. This girl is a walking, talking, PSA. And it gets really annoying really fast. If you want an anti-war or pro-environmental message, that’ fine, but you don’t have to shove it down the throats of your audience like this. If you keep repeating it like this it starts to feel a bit patronizing and I know one of my friends said, ‘this movie made we want to go burn down a tree and attack a nation’.
Another thing that happens in this movie is that in a flashback we see that Nausicaa hid a baby Ohm when she was a little kid. For those of you who don’t know, Ohms are beetle like creatures the size of a football field. In the flashback when Nausicaa’s father takes the baby Ohm (which is about the size of a soccer ball, I guess they go through wicked growth-spirts) away, and his is portrayed as a bad thing – that her father was wrong to take the Ohm away and that Nausicaa was in the right by hiding the Ohm in the valley. BUT we see what happens when a baby Ohm is taken away later in the film. An Ohm herd the size of Asia, comes charging, trampling everything that comes before them in order to get their baby back. So, I have to say, I’m with the father on this one.
Also, remember how I made the Jesus comparison earlier in the review. That wasn’t a joke. At the end of the film, Nausicaa gets trampled by the Ohm herd in order to save everyone who didn’t believe that humans and Ohms could live together in the same world. That’s right, she died for our sins. I’m not kidding here. Gee, next you’ll be telling me she comes back to life with the power of love. Well, actually I’ll be telling you that she comes back to life with the power of love because that is exactly what happens. She rises from the dead, because everyone loves her so much and they don’t want her to die because she is the greatest person ever, and they all want her to live. Is it worth noting that I saw this movie on Easter Sunday?
The saddest thing is that I can’t even name all the things that bugged me about Nausicaa. I could go on for hours about how much she infuriated me. But to be honest that would make a very boring review. I went into Nausicaa with huge expectations only to have every one of them completely dismantled. I never thought I’d say this about a Miyazaki movie, but I really do have no choice. Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind is number on my Top 20 least favourite films I’ve ever seen, sitting comfortably between Moulin Rouge and The Smurfs.




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Lup1 said...
May 28, 2013 at 8:03 pm:
So, I just watched the film and stumbled upon this review afterwards. Everyone's entitled to their opinion and I don't really have a strong stance on it, but I wanted to point out some (deliberate?) misinterpretations the review seems to be based on: - That Nausicaa's dress changed its color is actually a major plot point and not an error at all. In fact, you can see how it is dyed blue by the blood of the baby Ohmu she's trying to save. In the end, it is  noted how her ap... (more »)
 
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drnova said...
Apr. 17, 2012 at 11:02 pm:
ATTENTION: As you all may have noticed, there is a little typo in my review. I meant that it's number 14 on the list and as you can see there is no number. Thank you for your time - -just thought I should correct that.
 
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