When Marnie Was There is a story about a girl verging on adulthood suffering depression. It is more of a heartfelt story than a visual spectacle like some of the other Studio Ghibli productions like Spirited Away or Howl's Moving Castle. But the visuals are spectacularly simple nonetheless.
No matter which stage of the movie you pause, there is unbelievable detail on every pixel of the frame. I can't help but feel like this is the last of mainstream 2D animated movies we are going to see with When Marnie Was There set to be the last production from Studio Ghibli.
Overall, the story is magical but real at the same time. Many of us have gone through points in our life when we feel so alone and unwanted; when nothing in your life is worth the effort. But then you come across a moment or a person who, in hindsight, seem to have helped you turn a corner. On that aspect, this movie is very relatable and you sympathise for Anna in her quest for self-salvation.
The poignant story is lifted further by the musical tones of the film, which Studio Ghibli is also very well known for. The theme song at the end is haunting and brought a tear to my eye.
The only drawback of this film is how the emotional pay-off at the end was hammered home a little too much. Maybe its just me, but I prefer films that leave some resolutions for the audiences to fill in. All in all, it isn't enough to detract from the film as a whole.
When Marnie Was There is an emotional journey that will tug at the heartstrings of anyone and everyone who is open to it. It may not be a compelling watch for everyone on the surface but it is up to the hardcore Studio Ghibli fans to make sure that this film is in everyone's consciousness. In many ways, this is the perfect send off for the historic studio.
My Rating: 8/10...definitely go watch this at the cinema if you can. It is out now in the UK.
Have you seen it? What did you think? Are you interested in checking this out? Let me know in the comments below.