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Suzume, Review: Makoto Shinkai reflects on the relationship with the environment and the process of mourning

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Suzume – protagonist Suzume in a scene from the movie (Sony Pictures Italia credits)

review by SuzumeThe new movie of the master of Japanese animation Makoto Shinkai: a sensitive and powerful story, even if it is not always brought into focus, about the relationship with the environment and about the mourning situation

After the fine your name And the most experimental weathering with you Go back to the cinema Makoto Shinkaian absolute master of Japanese animation, who seems to know no moments of rest after his retirement Hayao Miyazaki. Suzume It is a film that does not differ much from some of the typical features of oriental animation, including the absence of a real villain, but that manages to tell the story of accepting pain that in some moments proves too powerful, without forgetting the relationship between man and nature.

Do not open this door

Suzume is an ordinary high school student who, after the death of her parents, moves to live with her aunt Tamaki in the quiet town of Kyushu, located in southwestern Japan. One day she accidentally meets Souta, a boy whose strange behavior leads her to follow him. Suzume learns that Souta is a door closer between the multidimensional worlds. The latter is threatened by a huge worm that brings death and destruction with it every time it crosses the door, so all doors must remain closed. Thus begins a long journey that will lead Suzume to experience an incredible adventure, one that will make her fall more and more in love with Souta but at the same time will allow her to painfully close the account once and for all. her mother’s death. Despite all the obstacles she’s faced, Suzume will keep hope alive by struggling against the hardest moments, anxieties, and limitations that are part of everyday life.

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Suzume - A scene from (Sony Pictures Italia Credits) 2
Suzume – Scene from Sony Pictures Italia Credits

Chaos and balance

As it happens in most oriental animation productions, but not only in Japanese Suzume No real discount Because chaos itself is the opponent. Anarchy is not necessarily understood as disorder, but as a force that opposes the natural balance of things, and wants to force change rather than accompany it in a gradual and organic way, driving men to hatred and violence. In this case, a huge interdimensional worm is the agent of chaos that pushes Japan to the brink, But in fact, all the symbolism hidden behind the worm is nature simply doing what it has to do. Earthquakes are, in fact, inevitable events necessary to maintain the same balance, but the burden of death draws a relationship between the Japanese and the geological structure of their country which is complex to say the least. How do we get out then? Suzume It does not give us a definite answer, but what it does tell us is that perhaps it lies precisely in the way the earth and all that it produces (for good) is loved and respected and understood for what it is. take away from us (in bad) The only possible key. And when Mother Nature becomes a stepmother, we need to help each other, stay close, and stand up for one another, in the name of something higher and more important than love itself: solidarity.

Suzume - co-star Souta in a scene from the movie (credits Sony Pictures Italy)
Suzume – co-star Souta in a scene from the movie (Sony Pictures Italia credits)

to move on

Suzume’s character is the engine of the film, a character torn apart by a hidden pain that she has yet to fully process. The death of her mother, with whom she was very close, is, in fact, her Suzume’s real demon, a dark void that not even his aunt Tamaki’s love could fully fill. in recounting its development Makoto Shinkai He decided to sacrifice all the other characters in the film (except, perhaps, Tamaki herself), focusing only on the protagonist. power Suzume Whether as a movie or as a hero It lies precisely in his ability to always move forward, to use pain as a driving force rather than a limit, To finally be able to accept change – even negative ones – because it is part of that intricate and indecipherable puzzle that is life. Even the act of closing doors is an element that wants to symbolize breaking with the past, with what was and what we have been, to find hope in the future and strength in the present. However, to permanently close scores with the past, it is necessary to go back again and face it one last time and that is exactly what Suzume will have to do to stop the impending apocalypse once and for all. The end of the world is even more destructive than one that moves mountains, causes tsunamis, or destroys entire cities; Here our shattered soul is at stake.

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Suzume - Scene from the movie (Sony Pictures Italia credits)
Suzume – Scene from Sony Pictures Italia Credits

Japan Shinkai

While still beholden to some of Miyazaki’s themes and suggestions, Makoto Shinkai He takes us on a surprising journey through Japan with Suzumi and Sota, because the Japan he shows us is only partially what we are used to seeing or thought we knew. The road movie method allows Shinkai to work on the preparation with extreme precision, allowing the film to depict certain aspects of Japanese culture and people by seamlessly integrating them into the story. Think, for example, of the preventive form of Namazu or elsewhere, A place beyond time and space where the purple light of the sky collides with the bright green of meadows and the glow of distant stars. The use of color and space, as well as the many changes of location from uninhabited countryside to Tokyo teeming with people, Make Suzume A journey with great visual appeal as well as a great emotional impact. Shinkai works on the humanity of his characters and even if from time to time the movie loses its rhythm or gets wrapped up in itself, he thinks about it. An incredibly powerful ending to get the story back on track. an ending that celebrates our imperfect and fragile humanity, but above all our desire to live always and anyway; Despite pain and adversity, chasing the magic of love.

Suzume. Directed by Makoto Shinkai Today April 27th in cinemas distributed by Sony Pictures Italy.


Three and a half stars

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