I’ve always measured the success of a movie in terms of each facet such as plot, music, characters, and so forth, individually. But there is one crucial factor that would make a film quite memorable for me – how it makes me feel. Even after years, “Your Name” directed by Makoto Shinkai unlocks a vulnerable and emotional side of me. How can a movie manage to touch you not just through the plot but through the music and the characters and the world itself? The film begins with the protagonists narrating, “I feel like I’m always searching for something, someone” – for a movie to make an impact like that based only on its first line is the stuff of legends. But Your Names’ strengths lie not just in its emotional sensitivity but also in its storytelling.
In brief, the story follows the lives of Taki, a high schooler from Tokyo and Mitsuha, a high schooler from Itomori who one day, end up switching bodies. This phenomenon starts as quite comical and fruitful and we get to understand the characters not only through them but also through their environment and friends. The film does not spoon-feed you the dynamics between the two characters and allows you to piece it all together for yourself. When you’re in someone’s shoes and understand their way of life along with the person itself – it’s hard to not care and completely detach yourself.
Without giving much away, the movie’s theme rests on time, the red string of fate and a comet. The film has supernatural elements yet remains grounded by highlighting the beauty of our world. The theme of the red string of fate is a beautiful addition to the film where tradition and modernity meet via the representation of a cultural belief. Given the fact that if Taki and Mitsuha met in normal circumstances, they might not even have spoken to each other, their circumstance makes them become closer than a conventional relationship would have made possible.
The supernatural elements allow you to believe in a little something more and make you understand the flexibility of the film medium. The movie takes an unexpected turn when the purpose of this strange phenomenon surfaces. That’s when the impact of the characters love, the animation, the music are at their peak. The audience is kept on their edge as the film orchestrates its ending. The film will surely bring out the waterworks! The animation is breathtaking but not only is the film beautiful in its visuals – it’s lovely in its characters, the soundtrack, the words spoken and its climax.
The fantastic band called RADWIMPS brought the tune of this film to life. The film topped the charts and became the highest-grossing anime film of all time until it was dethroned by the release of Spirited Away in China this year.