YOUR NAME (2016) | the best film I’ve seen all year

Wow… All I have to say is… wow. Your Name was initially released in August 2016 in Japan, and then internationally released in April of this year. It came to the theatres in Toronto and my boyfriend and I caught a screening the other day. Truly such a cinematic masterpiece, with spectacular narrative, audio, and visual. I’m not ashamed to say that I cried around three times. (no spoilers under the cut!)

One of the reasons I completely fell for this movie was the soundtrack. The OST was amazing. I read afterwards that for the dub version, they actually have English lyrics that contribute towards the story, and unfortunately I watched the subbed version. Nevertheless, I don’t think it impacted my viewing greatly. For any fans of Your Lie in April, definitely check out Your Name. They both have the same tones of first loves and youth (the words fresh and spring come to mind). The music was integrated so well throughout the film, and heightened the emotional intensity beautifully during the peak moments.

I walked in with no clue of what the film was about, because I’d only read the synopsis that comes up when you google it: “A teenage boy and girl embark on a quest to meet each other for the first time after they magically swap bodies.” I hadn’t read the manga or even watched the trailer before hand so I had no idea what I was in for. It started off really fun and cute, and I was definitely enjoying it, but then came a dark twist to it that I hadn’t foreseen at all. But even though the overall tone of the movie became darker, the raw elements of humour and romance were still there.

The art was absolutely stunning. I’m not sure how else to describe the storyboard, but the term realism comes to mind. Obviously, there is a story arc, but there are moments throughout the film where the narrative stands still, and the visuals of everyday life take over. Breathtaking, in such a simple but affirmative way. The repetition of certain scenes work well for both the narrative and implied meaning (i.e. the slamming of the sliding door). If we looked deeper in the film I’m sure that there would be an abundant instances where more meaning could be found.

Your Name is a wonderful coming-of-age, romance, fantasy tied all together, and I recommend it to anyone of all ages, regardless of whether you watch anime or not. If you want your cold dead heart to feel something again, definitely watch Your Name. You will not regret it.

– Ari



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