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Porco Rosso

Title: Porco Rosso
Directed by:
Hayao Miyazaki
Written by:
Hayao Miyazaki
Year: 1992

The first few films I watched by Hayao Miyazaki were pure magic. He presented a world I had never dreamed of; in his films, he took me with him to wonderland. I am of course talking about titles such as Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro and Nausica of the Valley of the Wind, brilliant because they are unique in a way I truly enjoy. Then, I watched several other films by Miyazaki, all good films, but focusing on more down-to-earth stories taking place if not in the wordl we know, then at least something very close to it (examples are Lupin III: The Castle of Cagliostro and Kiki’s Delivery Service). I did not enjoy them as much. Porco Rosso falls into the latter category.

Porco Rosso is a famous fighter ace from the First World War, who has taken up bounty hunting air pirates as his occupation. Somewhere along the way, he has been transformed into a pig, which, together with the fact that he flies a red fighter, explains his name. He is renowned for his skills as a pilot, and many pirates loathe him for his intrusiveness into their business. One day, an American pilot manages to down Porco Rosso’s plane, which has to be repaired. A rematch is planned, the pig with his new fighter, designed by a young girl who becomes his business partner, versus the new American star.

This story is quite interesting, but nothings exceptional. I like the shards of unreality that cut through the fabric of a story that could have been realistic. For instance, Porco Rosso is a pig, but no real explanation is ever given. Also, I like the reckless style focusing on action rather than making an attempt to mimmick reality. The problem is that this film lacks something genuine, something unique that makes it stand out. Miyazaki seems to be unable to make bad films, but in giving this only three snails, it is far from what I have come to expect.

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