In an alternate postwar timeline, Japan is divided. Hokkaido is ruled by the "Union" while Honshu and other southern islands are under US authority. A tall tower was built on Hokkaido, which could even be seen from Tokyo. In the summer of 1996, three middle-school students make a promise that they'll cross the border with a self-constructed plane and unravel the tower's secret, but their project was abandoned after the girl, Sayuri Sawatari, became mysteriously ill and transferred to Tokyo. Years later on the brink of another war Hiroki Fujisawa finds out that Sayuri had been in coma since then, and he asks Takuya Shirakawa to help him finding a way to wake her up.
Directed by: Makoto Shinkai
, Yoshio Suzuki
. Starring: Hidetaka Yoshioka
, Masato Hagiwara
, Yuka Nanri
, Unshô Ishizuka
, Kazuhiko Inoue
, Risa Mizuno
, Hidenobu Kiuchi
, Masami Iwasaki
, Eiji Takemoto
, Takahiro Hirano
, Takeshi Maeda
, Rie Nakagawa
, Yûki Nakao
. Music by: Tenmon
Whenever we are young we have lots of dreams, and make lots of promises to fulfill them. They can be a lot for things like flying a plane, going to a far off place, but the most common is mainly an emotional need which is love.
this isn't so much a film it's more of an experience, there isn't really much of a plot which in reality is more of a setting. It's really a story concerned about it's three characters and the feelings they carry through the film.
It all has the feel and setup similar to a Terence Malick film, like with his films they were all based on mood, emotion, and always had a poeticjournalistic sensibility to them which helps draw out a humanistic quality, just like this film. The film does have dialog in some places but not much of it, most of the film consists of narrative which feels journalistic and poetic since it all describes the feelings the characters feel at certain points or what they've been carrying within them but near say out loud.
Even the background at times and music reflect their emotions, almost as if the world their in has a symbiotic connection to them and I'll admit it is just beautiful to see. One of my favorite scenes in the film is when Hiroki and Sayuri are both in the isolated alternate world together, their in a classroom and both have shared an intimate moment together and then we see that there is sunlight that just surrounds them in the background, it was just beautiful that visual just metaphorically shows both love each other, it's reminiscent of that same visual between Darcy and Elesbeth in Joe Wright's "Pride and Prejudice".
The theme throughout the whole film is mainly about promise of the heart, it centers in on three characters in particular who all have desires but as time has gone on they have denied it, which has made them go different but lonely directions but as we see no mater how much has changed they have never forgotten what they promised themselves. and we see how in different circumstances what they do to fulfill them.
Hiroki and Syuri it's all about unspoken romance. For Hiroki, he's basically naive and brash, he's always a child at heart which is his great quality, he does have feelings for Sayuri but doesn't really discover or admit to them till unfortunately Sayuri is gone. I can easily feel the internal sadness he was going through when his best friend Sayuri is in a coma, the backgrounds he's in at the time really reflect it from his small apartment the use of gray and dark as he goes out.
Sayuri is a girl that is rather shy but sweet, can play the violin beautifully which reflects the beauty within. We see she carries feelings of love for Hiroki but has trouble expressing it even when she spends time with him. I could feel even her sadness when we see the coma has put her into that alternate world which is a rather quiet and lonely place it really had that feeling of isolation where we saw the same town with no life much like the alternate world in the film "The Quiet Earth". In a way it gets at the common fear we all feel of being alone for the rest of our life.
Both of them we see somehow have developed a psychic connection to one another and we see scenes when probably through the strength of their feelings are able to come together in that alternate world, the time they spend together is beautiful, we very much want them to find each other and stay with one another forever.
Takuya we see is very much the one through the whole film that struggles the most. His persona sort of reflects my own in a way, he is sort of an introverted guy very much a brainy person but as we see has trouble expressing his feelings. Thsi doesn't make him cold which he's anything but however shy and in denial to admit what he really needs the most in life. But as the film goes further, despite all the different ways he exercises his denial, the wall he's built around himself crumbles when Hiroki and Sayuri come back into his life. But it's really one particular character he interacts with at times int he film (a shame there wasn't more scenes with the two) Maki his coworker and best friend a sweet soul is the one that breaks that wall completely. Both obviously desire each other, from the way they talk to each other as well as look at one another, there is one shot as both are talking Takuya briefly glances down at Maki's chest area, this doesn't make him a pervert mind you, it's just natural attraction is all Takuya's desire for her mentally has evolved into being more physical. It's a common thing as some of us who might at first be best friends with someone of the opposite sex depending on two deep things get begin to see them differently, as if our sense are opened up for the very first time.
The place promised in their early days is the future and beyond.
Review by hellraiser7 from the Internet Movie Database.