君の名は | Your Name (2016)
Interweaving dreams, reality & timeline into one perfectly braided storyline, the highest grossing anime of all time is an exquisitely envisioned, elegantly composed & sumptuously animated fantasy that’s crafted with care, narrated with flair, and brims with endless warmth & intimacy to finish as one of the most enchanting & emotionally captivating films of 2016.
The story of Your Name follows two strangers whose lives interconnect in the most bizarre fashion. One of them is a young girl who lives in the small town of Itomori and is fed up of her countryside life while the other is a young boy in Tokyo who works at an Italian restaurant. Their normal routine is thrown out of balance when they discover that they are switching bodies when they go to sleep.
Written & directed by Makoto Shinkai, Your Name acquaints the audience with its protagonists in a sensible manner while emanating a hint of mystery simultaneously but once Shinkai lets them know what exactly is going on, he begins stepping up the gear as the story gets more n more intricate as time passes yet he does it in a way that keeps the viewers’ interest & their emotional investment alive & undisturbed.
The narrative structure is clever, for it is always ahead of viewers at all times and takes sharp turns at the most unexpected moments to keep things unpredictable but even more impressive than that is how the characters’ arcs unfold and the thread connecting their destinies is unraveled to deliver an incredibly satisfying finale. The film is truly a roller-coaster ride, sending its audience on a whirlwind of emotions throughout its runtime.
The graceful quality, heartwarming beauty & remarkable simplicity of its rich, colourful animation is very much in tune with Studio Ghibli’s works, and same can be said about the careful attention with which it brings every frame to life. The voice cast does an outstanding job with the characters they lend their voices to, and the film’s emotional impact is all the more magnified by its mesmerising & emotionally resonant soundtrack.
On an overall scale, Your Name may as well be the best Studio Ghibli film that the famed animation studio never made, for it is just as transporting as their finest works and radiates such an immense joy & intoxicating feeling that it is difficult to not be swept away by its magical tide. There are times when it gets confusing or overwhelming to an extent but majority of those issues are eliminated once all the dots are connected. Definitely one of the finest films of its year, Your Name comes delightfully recommended.