Pretty much my August hype consisted of two things: SCANDAL’s 10th Anniversary concert, and Shinkai Makoto’s new film, 君の名は (Kimi no Na wa: Your Name).
Hmm, well. It’s kind of obvious what I’m going to write about here though.
Movie summary: (spoilers ahead)
A shrine maiden in a rural town in Gifu, Miyamizu Mitsuha is sick of the bland and uneventful town she’s in, and wants to experience living in Tokyo. On the other hand, aspiring architect Tachibana Taki doesn’t have any complaints with his ordinary life in Tokyo. With the passing of a rare comet, both of them are caught up in random consciousness-swapping which affected their everyday lives. With the true nature of this mysterious experience is revealed, the two formed a peculiar bond and resolved to meet each other. In an attempt to do so, a catastrophic fate unveils before them – and the two found themselves racing against time in order to finally see each other again.
Musubi, a Japanese word meaning “to tie, bind or to link”. A word which describes connections and relationships, of coming closer and growing apart, of starting and ending things, of the ebb and flow of life. Musubi is a dominating factor in the story, making the plot more understandable and having a clearer perception with regards to the typical “red string of fate” theory. The reasons why we believe in such sappy make-believe and why it holds so much power in our minds is perfectly defined in the movie.
In Kimi no Na wa, Shinkai Makoto has once again showed us a story of two different people tied between the unavoidable strings of fate. But unlike his earlier works which leaves us hanging on to any hope that the two main characters are bound to end up with each other, much more see each other again, Kimi no Na wa transcends time, distance, and catastrophic odds in order to narrate a story where true love wins in the end. Well, they’re going down that route anyway.
Shinkai Makoto is both known for two reasons: his “hopeless romance” romance genre movies, and his flawless animations. Art has always been a strong point in all of his movies, and Kimi no Na wa is a perfect example to that. Similar to Kotonoha no Niwa, his choice of colors are accurate that even the comets, train tracks, and bells come alive. Cinematography is brilliant as always, from the vibrant and bustling crowd in Shinjuku, down to the detailed portrayal of the shrine maiden Mitsuha dancing in pure 2D awesomeness. Piece of advice: watch out for every blur, light flare, and particle floating along the screen as those really add an incredible deal of emotion to any scene.
I never heard a single soundtrack which felt out of place during the movie. I especially love the soundtrack during the conclusion to the climax, as it felt reassuring, and then slowly progressed a soulful rock song from RADWIMPS.
Apparently, RADWIMPS is one of Shinkai’s favorite bands. Having them work together on a film was such a good mix.
The Verdict: 11/10
If anything else, Kimi no Na wa is a Shinkai Makoto masterpiece. Beautiful in both visuals and story, Kimi no Na wa succeeded in delivering an engrossing experience; the melancholy of love and distance, and the joy of finding each other despite the 127 million to 1 odds. It surely tugs at the heartstrings, whether the audience has a personal experience or would just want to experience how it feels. With a story well-told until the end, no wonder watching the movie felt like a miracle, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity in which you have to grasp tightly while you live the moment (in this case, while you watch the movie).
Would definitely hit the theaters again next week Wednesday (because discount Women’s cinema day yay!).
Unimportant yet I-Just-Want-To-Say Afterword:
There are things which we remember, and things which we can’t. Some are completely insignificant, yet some can affect our lives. The memories may be a little vague, but somehow a part of you recognizes a particular scenery, a familiar face, or even a name. In some instances where we completely forgot, we travel the unexplored corners of our mind and reach out to the farthest horizon to pursue what was lost — in hopes of getting it back. I quote from the movie:
Everyone’s lives diverge in different ways, things happen in dreams and are forgotten the next day, things happen in reality and are forgotten over a lifetime. But nevertheless, we make an effort to search for that whatever is lost. How much do our memories make up who we are? The answer, I guess, all ends up to how you feel after watching the movie.