Howl´s moving castle is one of the most famous and popular works of Ghibli and director Miyazaki. The story is about Sophie, a young girl who makes a hat, after being cursed and becoming an old woman, she leaves town. During the journey, she meets Howl and his mobile castle, she loves Howl and tries to solve Howl’s curse. Still with the strong, independent, youthful character of the female characters built by Ghibli, Sophie is a character that expresses Miyazaki’s psychological talent and personality.
Sophia is a beautiful girl, but she always feels guilty about herself. Every day she sat in a small room filled with hats, repeating a familiar job. Her world is a tiny window in front of the railroad track with trains running back and forth, smoke and dust in the air. Her vision was tucked under a mortar hat, used to cover up her face. She was afraid to communicate with everyone, easily embarrassed, shy, and forced herself to attach her life to an old hat shop left by her father. Meeting Howl and being caught by the Desert Witch’s curse became a turning point in Sophia’s life. Often, when beauty becomes old, we tend to shrink and lack confidence. However, Sophia reacted completely, she became easier to communicate, be more active and easily express her feelings. Dressed in a face full of wrinkles, huge nose, a sickly short body of an old lady of 90, was the first time she decided to leave the house to see the world. That risky curse gave her the chance to meet Howl and experience the passionate love of youth.
This is evident in Sophie’s world view when leaving town. If the beautiful Sophie girl just sat in the tiny room, walking back and forth through the familiar frames, the old lady Sophie looked up at the vast blue sky, spread her eyes to see immense fields. Recalling how delighted Sophie was when she stubbornly tried all the doors leading to different places in the country, that freedom of desire was vividly portrayed through the bustling seaport with fresh fish and ships. friends passed by, crowded with the capital of horses, through green pastures, soaring sky and her relaxed face when sitting next to the lake. A series of vast scenes appear to make readers think about the freedom of the people. This is also one of the main themes throughout the film.
Sophie’s change is also reflected in the clever and agile dialogue in each situation. If we had only seen a shy girl refusing to go to a party with friends for reasons of finishing work, embarrassed when she was teased and flirted with a few sentences, the old Sophia once met anyone, whether a scarecrow with a curse, a talking flame or a boy who makes her sunstroke, the old woman’s response is smart and quick. Being forced into a grim situation, suspected of being a spy of the desert witch, questioned by the most powerful witch in the country, Sophie’s expression expressed a strong, persistent girl. No less sharp.
Being an old woman, she gently vented her concerns, comfortably living with emotion without fear of disturbing anyone. In the past, Sophie had always kept a beautiful face, she did not dare to panic, cry, and be angry when she suddenly got a curse. After that, I could cry under the rain to pity myself. The old Sophie was angry at the small, unbearable things when she was left unconvinced, bluntly expressed her love and struggled for it.
In the end, the curse was solved when Sophie’s heart became stronger than ever. Throughout the film, the author has skillfully drawn young and beautiful Sophie whenever she is true to herself, a liberal, free, believing soul and believing in the person she loves. She is no longer inferior to her appearance, she builds trustworthy relationships, and she saves the people she loves.
Ghibli’s main female characters are all strong, independent women, with strong resilience. Their beauty does not need to have the stark light to highlight, it is expressed through every decision, action, gesture, requiring viewers to observe, sympathize and be sensitive. If in Wind Rise, we see a superhero, ignoring the disease, walking hundreds of kilometers alone to meet husband, in Spirited Away, we have a brave, observant and caring girl. In Howl, we have a flexible Sophie, which takes love as the energy for the brain, taking emotions that motivate action. Sophie with her truncated silver hair will always become an inspiration for a model of modern, beautiful and respectful women.
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