Thursday, April 13, 2017

[Review] Your Name

Adapted for the big screen from his own novel, director Makoto Shinkai's Your Name is an intricately layered fantasy piece, as well as a wonderful, dreamy, gleaming-eyed marvel of Japanese animation.

Mitsuha (Mone Kamishiraishi) and Taki (Ryunosuke Kamiki) are two high schoolers living completely separate lives--a girl in a small town, a boy in a big city--respectively. That is until the extraordinary "day when the stars fell" and the two strangers switch places, waking up in each other's bodies. Okay I know it sounds a bit like Freaky Friday, but trust me, this film takes a much different path. Anyway, Mitsuha and Taki begin to communicate through notes, and eventually they plan to meet each other. But with mystical forces at work, it's not that easy.

It's a vastly intriguing premise, once we wrap our heads around it--just as the characters themselves do. At times it might make your head spin, but at its heart is a moving story of two desperate, fatefully connected souls trying to find each other at the right place and the right time. The film dazzles with themes of memory, impressions, identity, spirituality, time, cosmic energy, and even subtle undertones of gender and sexuality. It's all so beautifully animated, vibrantly colored, and immensely detailed--from the ethereal montages, to the awe-inspiring landscapes and skies, to the majestically rendered astral views. It's also backed with a glorious musical score--a mix of soaring orchestral arrangements, gentle piano, and even some Japanese power-pop.

So catch this film and behold it. Treasure it. Like a comet passing by.

* 8.5/10 *

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