Surrounded by the immense and furious ocean, a shipwrecked mariner battles all alone for his life with the relentless towering waves. Right on the brink of his demise, the man set adrift by the raging tempest washes ashore on a small and deserted tropical island of sandy beaches, timid animal inhabitants and a slender but graceful swaying bamboo forest. Alone, famished, yet, determined to break free from his Eden-like prison, after foraging for food and fresh water and encouraged by the dense forest, the stranded sailor builds a raft and sets off to the wide sea, however, an indistinguishable adversary prevents him from escaping. Each day, the exhausted man never giving up hope will attempt to make a new, more improved raft, but the sea is vast with wonderful and mysterious creatures and the island's only red turtle won't let the weary survivor escape that easily. Is this the heartless enemy?Written by
A long short. Simple, beautiful, worthy of the Studio Ghibli stamp.
The movie is visually stunning and conceptually intriguing.
Animator Michael Dudok de Wit has had the improbable chance to make his feature-length debut in partnership with studio Ghibli, and with full artistic autonomy. The result is one hour and a half of purely visual narrative. A bold choice but with no doubt one that works out beautifully. The result is simple, fresh and beautiful, and definitely worthy of the Studio Ghibli stamp.
However, leaving the theater, I had the peculiar impression of having watched the world's longest short. It's an observation that's neither positive nor negative, at least I've been unable to define whether this is an accomplishment or a weakness. That is to say : the film might come off as a bit light, but at the same time, its single-topic approach is elegant and truly enjoyable to watch, and beautifully poetic in its way of finding big stories in the simplest of things.
Anyway, a debut that makes us very curious where Mchaël Dudok de Wit will take us in his future work.
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