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Archive for July 29th, 2008

Somewhere, J.D.‘s laughing at me, I feel fairly sure.

Okay, I get the premise of this film.   Princess Raccoon is actually a raccoon spirit trapped in a human body who falls in love with a human prince with typically dramatic results.   It’s a fairy tale!

It’s got singing and dancing and huge musical numbers.   It feels a lot like a lot of film productions of The Nutcracker do where it seems to be shot on a theater set.   But mostly…my head hurts.

My head hurts from the talking golden frog and the weird raccoon masks.  My head hurts because of the weird scenes in which the Prince and Princess go sailing down a stream that’s straight out of a Japanese watercolor.   My head hurts because that was an awful lot of pretty costuming and scenery to jam into my brain in a very short time period.

My brain can’t quite churn through it all.   I liked the story, but it feels like the plot takes a distinct back seat to whatever the director can shove into the movie like golden raccoon traps and an enormous palace full of singing guards and simpering handmaidens.   The costumes are to die for.   The makeup’s exquisite and Zhang Ziyi is awesome in this (I can see why J.D. loves her so).

I really, thoroughly enjoyed it.   It was out of my comfort zone, but in a great way.   The problem is, I’m not quite sure to put into words exactly what Princess Raccoon is because I’m not quite sure there’s been anything in my memory, at least, that can even serve as a reference point for this movie.

It feels odd that a movie should leave me stricken and at a complete loss for words, but Princess Raccoon managed to do just that.   It’s…almost indescribable.

It’s pretty, but it felt like such a mind-bender.    It’s the cinematic equivalent of having a double shot of warm sake with a peyote chaser.   It’s a bizarrely beautiful movie.    In its oddity, there’s a lot of awesomeness there.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to lie down and take a few aspirin.   I have a feeling this movie’s going to give me some fairly weird dreams.

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