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howls_moving_castleTypical of Japanese artist Hayao Miyazaki, Howl’s Moving Castle is a brilliant work of animation that manages to infuse magic, love, and war without coming across as pretentious or downright forgettable. It’s the story of a young insecure lady turned into an old shrivelling woman by a curse. Along the way, this old woman falls in love to Howl, a pretty young magician, himself torn by the ideals he chooses to live (or die) by. Theirs is a twisted relationship saddled by melodrama but almost always salvaged by Zen-like moments of reflection. Subtle and restrained, never indulging in too much fireworks or utter cheesiness, “Howl’s Moving Castle” achieves a level of complexity and maturity not easily acquired by most other films.

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