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May 14, 2017 at 6:50 pm | Posted in 2017 | Leave a comment
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Makoto Shinkai directed this lavish anime movie based on his novel of the same name. Visually, it is everything you would expect from anime; as far as traditional (non-CGI) animation, this is some of the best I have seen in a long time. Each scene was rich with color and small details: reflections on glass, the movement of clouds, the closing of sliding doors. I was often so taken by the visuals, I stopped reading the subtitles, just so that I wouldn’t miss anything. The subtitles were actually somewhat of a problem and I would have preferred this film to be have been dubbed. The subtitles moved by sometimes very quickly and were often combined with supertitles, so that you had to read the bottom and top of the screen and it became a bit confusing. And this could be a confusing story. Steeped in magical realism, it tells the story of a boy in Tokyo and a girl in rural Japan who find that they swap bodies randomly from time-to-time. In the process, they learn about each other’s lives and figure out a way to communicate to each other and then it just stops. So, the boy goes on a journey to find her. The film’s mood is one of sentiment and pathos, punctuated by moments of slapstick humor. This is ultimately a romantic movie and reminded me of the old Sandra Bullock/Keanu Reeves film, “The Lake House.” Love made possible through magic. If you like that sort of thing, you will undoubtedly like this, and you may even find yourself shedding a tear or two. If that is just not your thing, then perhaps the beautiful visuals will be enough for you. They certainly were for me.

 

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