WAH! Amazing film. A childrens’ movie for adults. Very bizarre and very theatrical. COLOURFUL and ORNATE to the EXTREME. The most extravagant visuals I maybe have ever seen in a film. And full of really demented characters in awesomely creative costumes! Sadawo is very funny as usual. He is too scarce though. I kept wishing someone would press his magic button. I really do sympathize with his character, whose “insanity” is that he doesn’t want to be a human being. He prefers to wear a snail costume and hide in the pond.
I loved the intense weirdness, more than the tear jerker plot, which ended up pushing my emo button one too many times. I cried but I felt a little manipulated. Loved the spell like nature of it all though. The way the readings of the story and finally the acting out of it seem to turn into a kind of mantra. Loved the way it morphed manically between impossibly lush and Gothic “real life” and animation. It all happened so quickly and with such a rush of sensory overload, that I might even have to watch it again. And I hardly ever do that. In fact I don’t watch 99.9 % of films even once.
Made the mistake of reading some reviews in English…a teeth grinding experience as usual. Invariably they disliked exactly the things I loved about it: it’s bizarreness and oddity and the freakishness of the characters. One particularly obtuse reviewer actually complained about the doctor of the asylum being as nutty as the inmates. And this wasn’t just some blog, I think it was a review in the Boston Times. I suppose they were rather confused by it looking like a childrens’ movie but really not being one, because fuck knows any hint of ambiguity will always throw a spanner into the works of such basic units. I can’t see any reason why children shouldn’t watch it and enjoy it and in fact it’s not really either for adults or for children, but for both. Or at least for people who know there is no difference.