There have been other interpretations of this movie posted up online. Most are about coming of age or a young girl learning how to function in the real world. One I found very interesting is the representation of tradition or the lack there of. However, I find the use of silence in this film much more intriguing.
When we first meet Osono (the baker) and her husband (not sure what his name is), he does not talk. He is mute throughout almost the entire movie. This is because he is not comfortable around Kiki yet. It is apparent that he likes her after she takes her first delivery and is out late. He makes her sign for the window and is pacing by the window waiting for her to come home. Later he runs outside to point out the dirigible and yells, “Hey! Look at that!” This is the turning point where he is more at ease around her.
Kiki cannot talk to all animals, but she can speak to her best pal Jiji. This makes the scene whenever she cannot speak to Jiji anymore very important. Jiji stops talking to her and behaves like a normal cat. His silence represents her lack of confidence in herself. She loses her confidence when she thinks Tombo’s friends are judging her. After this scene, she doesn’t even want to listen to her radio. She loses sight of who she is thus she loses her powers.
Arguably the most interesting part of this movie is when Kiki saves Tombo from the crashing dirigible. He is falling from the sky and she grabs onto him. She holds his hand with one of hers and her borrowed broom with the other. When this happens, all sound stops. No music plays, no one speaks. It is all quiet. This part represents her lack of fear. She is so focused on saving Tombo that she does not even hesitate. She is not afraid to fall to try to save him.
The combination of all these silences represents the things Kiki needs to learn. She has to learn how to communicate with people and work with them, which she is already fairly good at doing. She also needs to remember to have confidence in herself and not be afraid. Taking this into consideration, I guess I am arguing that this is a coming of age story, too. But silence is definitely a major player in this argument.
See you next Thursday for a blog about a super hero!