Suzume’s journey begins in a quiet town in Kyushu when she encounters a young man who tells her, “I’m looking for a door.” What Suzume finds is a single weathered door standing upright in the midst of ruins as though it was shielded from whatever catastrophe struck. Seemingly drawn by its power, Suzume reaches for the knob… Doors begin to open one after another all across Japan, unleashing destruction upon any who are near. Suzume must close these portals to prevent further disaster.
The itself feels very repitive in some ways with other Makoto Shinkai's works, e.g. 'Your Name', 'Weathering with you'. IMO, things feel stagnant after 'Your Name', as though everything, every element (romance, character development, plot twist) were recycled. I do like the used of mystical creatures like dragons, god to depict the worldly phenomena in the film itself; weird thing is I never understand the intentions of using them as a plot device, is this just out of convenience? Spoilers: - The cat is being so unpredictable? One second, it was a threat, trying to get Suzume killed; and another second, it was trying to lead Suzume to her goal, What is this??? and why???? Did the production team ran out of ideas in terms of storytelling? - The romance between Suzume and Souta (Howl's Doppelganger?) feels abrupt and forced. All this while she was interacting with a wooden chair, and closing doors together, did that make them fall in love? Seems like a convention in all Shinkai's work? but is just overused. - The whole story feels like a loop. The story does not start without Suzume accidentally sets the stone cat free, but then in the end the stone cat gave up on its freedom willingly to seal the door. So, what is trying to be told? Cats are unpredictable? Or the cat was touched and wished to grant Suzume and Souta a happy ending? - Apart from Souta and his family, why was Suzume the only one who sees the dragon? Was it because she been to the AfterWorld? Seems like she had some closeted mystical power? - The disaster worm. It looks like a d*ck head. When something is long and has a round head, oh c'mon! Overall, I appreciate the picturesque qualities of the film, is nice to look at, yet lack of depth and substance. I have never felt so disappointed with Shinkai's work.
As someone who enjoys watching Makoto Shinkai films, this one may very yet be my least favorite. Though I have some appreciation for it. Suzume pales in comparison to his previous works in terms of storytelling, character writing, and originality. It was not as emotional and epic as I expected. The dynamic between the characters wasn’t as interesting nor was it as compelling... but it was nice that it wasn't just a silly little romance. It had some charming moments but I did not feel any attachment to any of the characters. Personality where? Now, I understand that this is pretty much not meant to be only a romance film in terms of (girl meets guy and they fall in love while trying to save the world) scenario... no. This film is meant to refer to the 3/11 Tohoku earthquake that happened in Japan 12 years ago, which caused major casualties and was pretty devastating. The film is supposed to show the trauma people were left with, healing and moving on from such a catastrophic blow. I respect and appreciate Makoto Shinkai for trying to show that in his story, but in terms of Suzume's trauma and dealing with her struggle, ex. with her aunt, it felt very underwhelming and pretentious. The characters were not given enough personality, in fact, they were as two-dimensional as you'd expect and the story in general was confounded. The target point of this film (if you recognize it) is the 3/11 disaster, it does its job and thugs on your heartstrings but that's all. The moments that were otherwise supposed to be emotional (concerning the main characters) were not... Chair guy had one thing to offer and it was that he was just a pretty face. The cat, what was his goal really? I cannot tell even if you held a gun to my head... but I still love him <3 In terms of animation and production quality, it would not be a Makoto Shinkai film without rain, sky, stars, falling, Mc Donalds, Radwimps, and overall gorgeous scenery. 'Your Name' still holds #1 in my heart <3 maybe one day Makoto will make another film worthy enough to dethrone it... in the distant future maybe.
A Great addition to Shinkai's films. (No Spoilers)With the release of the latest Shinkai film, some high expectations were certainly set thanks to his previous work. I can easily say Suzume does not disappoint. As expected, the visuals are insanely beautiful for the entirety of the movie, and the soundtrack was very captivating as well. Both on par with Your Name and Weathering With You. Some visuals are assisted by CGI, such as backgrounds and big set pieces, but I'd argue the CG is very well integrated with the animation and only helps the overall product.The cast is half and half for me. The relationship between Suzume and Souta felt really contrived and rushed, which I was a little disappointed with when compared to the last 2 movies. In all fairness, it has been said that Shinkai wrote the film with the intention of shifting the narrative away from being a romance, so it most likely is intentional. Unfortunately, this really caused the climax to feel subpar, as the driving force of the story relies on the viewer feeling a connection between a girl and her chair. Some side characters are very interesting, but others come and go, not leaving too much of an impression. I found it overall hard to get attached to a good portion of the cast, but by no means were they poorly written or boring.The plot itself was very interesting, a very good change in direction from Shinkai's previous work, but honestly I felt it didn't get explained as well as it could have, and as a result the first 3rd of the movie started to get a bit repetitive. At certain points, Suzume did start to drag on a bit, but thankfully quickly recovers. Overall it's a very entertaining film, visually stunning, and definitely has a well rounded cast, but at the same time I wouldn't say it passes Shinkai's previous movies. Personally I'd give it an 8.5, Your Name still being my favorite, but it is most certainly worth the watch.
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