Suzume | Review by: Stefano Bove
Makoto Shinkai, The director who brought us Your Name and Weathering With You; brings us another bold and beautiful film, Suzume. Named after the film's young lead, 17- year old Suzume lives the normal life of a high-schooler. She has suffered a loss at a young age, losing her mom when she was a child but she lives with her loving Aunt. One day on her way to school, her world is catapulted into a new direction as she meets a boy named Souta and their unexpected encounter changes everyone's world. On their first encounter, Souta asks Suzume if she knows of nearby ruins. curiosity gets the better of her and she seeks out the ruins on her own and she discovers a hidden door. The door is a portal into another world and unleashes a giant worm creature, one that haunts the region and causes earthquakes when it is unleashed.
Souta is revealed to be a "closer" someone who has inherited the power to close portals and protect the earth but when the Suzume opens the portal, he is turned into a small stool. feeling responsible for the events, Suzume takes the now helpless Souta across the country to close portals and protect the country from any more earthquakes. The stakes are really high as the fate of the country and millions of lives are in their hands to succeed. As she takes Souta on this quest, their bond develops as there is an obvious connection to the other world and the ability to close doors.
This is a very rare film that balances romance and action but does not sacrifice one for the other. It's impressive that the story also tackles climate change and Japan's struggle with earthquakes which has always been an issue. With over 1500 earthquakes annually in Japan, it is not a small issue but the story directly connects with a major one that took place in March of 2011. Tying these newly inherited abilities to a major disaster is smart writing and makes Suzume and Souta connected to the whole country.
Suzume's whole life is tied to this mission and her past, present and future are all riding on saving the country from this upcoming wave of earthquakes. This newest coming-of-age film by Makoto Shinkai hits all of the emotional beats you need to fall in love with Suzume, Souta and their journey together.
If you missed the ability to watch this movie during its first run, it is having a second theatrical run in North American theatres beginning October 27th.
Review by: Stefano Bove
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