Your Name (Kimi No Na Wa) ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The positive reviews promise a clever updated reinterpretation of Freaky Friday (or films of that genre) but the film is so much more than that (and will remind you of other films that revealing them here would be too spoilerific). Suffice to say that the first act of the film will be hard going as you’re thrown right in and due to the nature of the film, the subtitles will drive you mad, as there are just too much information to take in, both in the dialogue and on screen, that the subtitles become a hindrance and you wish you speak Japanese to appreciate the film more. Did I say this is an animated feature in Japanese with subtitles? But I digress. Get through this and it becomes less frantic as the film settles in, with an unexpected and totally engaging narrative that takes it to a new level. The animation is traditional Japanese Anime, but it’s the photo-realistic background, meticulously drawn and saturated with colours, that will provide a feast for the eyes. A technically impressive film with a magical story that has real heart and brains, the only thing that sometimes take me out of the film are the occasional overdramatized moments, typical of this genre, where the dialogue and emotions seems slightly exaggerated. For a film about young adults, it has maturity beyond its age and for an animated feature, its themes are truly adult. Forget that it is an animated feature, and treat this as a foreign subtitled film that happens to be animated and enjoy it for what it is: a contemporary love story unconventionally told.

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