• Movie Review: When Marnie Was There

    Oct 15th • Posted in Film and theatre, Reviews


    When Marnie Was There movie review

    When Marnie Was There is a coming of age story centered a round a teen named Anna. She’s an asthmatic, an artist and also a bit of a loner. She’s an introvert who balks at the thought of meeting others. Interestingly though she seems to really hate herself as a person and  this causes her to take it out on others around her.

    “I am just what I am. Ugly, stupid. Moody. That’s why I hate myself.” 

    It’s clear she hasn’t had an easy time and she her wish is just to “live a normal life.” Anna is just the type of interesting multi-dimensional type of character you’d expect to see from Ghibli.

    After an asthma attack brought on by stress she is sent to the country to spend time with her relatives in the cleaner air. While exploring she discovers an abandoned mansion that she some how feels connected to. She feels drawn to visit this abandoned house over and over again.

    When Marnie Was There movie review

    During one visit she sees lights in the house before they disappear. She even dreams of a girl sitting in the light of the window. After several visits a young blonde girl named Marnie makes herself known to Anna and the two quickly become friends.

    Their relationship intensifies rapidly with Marnie asking her to keep their friendship as a “precious secret.” The whole thing seems almost ethereal and dreamlike set in the beautiful Japanese countryside. Similar to that of Up on Poppy Hill and Ponyo on the Cliff by the Sea.
    When Marnie Was There Movie Review

    As the story moves forward Anna slowly starts to unravel the story behind the Marnie and the marsh mansion she has become so enthralled by. She’s able to open her heart to Marnie in a way she can’t around others. What they believe they lack, they find in each other.

    “It’s almost like we’ve traded places.”

    Anna helps Marnie to overcome her fears and in turn Marnie helps Anna to be happy with who she is as she stands on the end of adulthood.

    Ghibli are known for quality animation and this one is no different. There is beauty in every tiny expression; in every detail.

    I could talk about every aspect of the story for pages but I wouldn’t want to spoil it for anyone so I’ll just say that When Marnie was There is emotive storytelling at its finest.

    Watching this was bitter sweet for me, knowing it was Studio Ghibli’s swansong. It’s hard to take the fact that we’ll probably never see another feature from a studio that brought animation lovers so much joy and entertainment.

    Movie Review: When Marnie Was There

    • Carola K says:

      I love watching movies! And I love discovering new things even more. I'm not familiar with Ghibli. But I was happy to learn. The plot of the movie sounds very interesting. It makes me curious and it feels like the movie gives you something to think about. I will look it up and see if it's something for me.

    • Looks like a very interesting plot… I am also not quite familiar with Ghibli but I guess it is something like Anime?? Sorry if I am wrong.. huhuhu… will check out this movie… and btw did you draw that in the last picture?? You are amazing!!!

    • I've watched several Studio Ghibli films. But I have not watched this one! I really love how they capture the imagination. I feel like I'm a child again when I watch their films.

    • Gryselle Co says:

      Looking forward to this movie! I love the animation movies like this. Kind of reminds me of Howling Castle. There is another one that I am looking forward to called "My Name". I'm not sure if it has been released yet but so far, I haven't heard any updates about it.

      xoxo, G

    • Honestly,i am not really aware of the Ghibli which is strange to me as I come from the film background. In general I like the plot and will definitely check out more about them 🙂

    • Dominic says:

      This movie has a pretty interesting storyline. And somehow, based on what you shared, Marnie sounded like a ghost who lives in that abandoned house. By the way what does a swan song mean? Are they going to stop producing beatiful animations like this? Haven't heard of Ghibli before but it looks like they do great in cartoons.

    • Ghibli, I love the totoro =) I should watch Marnie as well. Marnie sounds like having a panic attack instead of an asthma attack because panic attacks are most of the time due to stress. Is that your own drawing, the last picture? it is beautiful!~

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