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Tuesday, September 20th, 2016 08:28 pm
I think it's important to have days like this, away from the grind of the real world to fill one's head with other things.

Aka reader, I took leave again to watch a movie. I think it's pretty worth it. Despite rushing to the cinema from office, the contrast of the day is pretty important too. I went from a busy real world day to the no less quick but also important world of Kubo and the Two Strings.

I think an important part about animation is when you forget that you're watching an animation. Kubo goes into the realm of Nightmare Before Christmas - a world disjointed from the current one that we live in, but by the end you have bought into it.

I recognised the beginning from the trailer - where Kubo's mom defeats the wave with her lute. So I probably spent more time than I should have looking for the animation (I still don't know how they did the waves). That may have delayed my entry into the story.

Or maybe it was all the intentional questions that the story raised. Such as why Kubo's mom was so distant at the start, or the stories that Kubo told the villages.

I think I truly became immersed when Kubo's aunts appeared, which is when the story starts moving. We learn that Kubo lost his eye because that represented his humanity. That detail is important, and sort of explains the motive of why you're told at certain points that this is the least of it.

Kubo's aunts are after Kubo's remaining eye so as to strip him of his humanity and make him join them in the sky. Kubo's mother used to be the most powerful of them all, until she fell in love with Kubo's father and chose to leave the colder sky for the human world.

This is a key theme of the movie. For all that the movie poses as a quest movie for pieces of armour, I think it's telling that the story that preceded Kubo's own story is that his father told Kubo's mother that she is his quest.

That's why I was narratively prepared for the ending scene.

I admit that I was initially iffy heading into the ending as I read spoilers that it did not do narrative justice to Kubo. Far from it. I think we are just so used to stories where the hero dons armour and gains a sword and fights that we feel not getting this sort of story is a cop out.

But Kubo has never been that sort of hero. All this while, we see his strengths has been his lute, his imagination and his capacity to love. That's why his weapon is not armour and sword.

Neither is his weapon his lute struck in anger and anguish, which broke the strings. It is his lute strung with the hair and the bow strings of his family. It is the lute strung and played with the memories of love.

I may have blinked, because I don't know when Kubo gave his grandfather his eye, or if the music turned his grandfather human such that he may see humanity for himself. I also don't know if that is reward or punishment. But I think it is a fitting end to the story.

I also think the important moral to me is that I should not put on an armor and take up the sword because that is what other people expect. I think it is more important to string my lute and play on, as unconventional as it may be.

In conclusion: WATCH THE MOVIE. So worth it!

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