“A spectacular and gripping story about two individuals falling in love without meeting”
Directed by Makoto Shinkai, the story is about two teenagers who haven’t met before that found themselves mysteriously swapping bodies. The boy (Taki) from Tokyo inhabits the girl’s (Mitsuha) body from Itomori and vice versa. This creates some interesting scenarios as they both try to live the life of the other without damaging it. Their friends and family start to notice the different traits that they start to project which also creates different opportunities for one another. They leave journal entries on each other’s phones and writings on their bodies for them to know what they did during that day. Body swapping stories have been done before with the likes of Freaky Friday and teenage romances have over saturated the market for quite sometime. Your Name might have these elements, but caging this film into these concepts is being naive.
This movie had me at the edge of my seat. There are a lot of Japanese cultural gags and references that Japanese aficionados will understand and enjoy. The story was not told in the conventional linear way. It bounces back and forth through time and it transitions from Taki to Mitsuha. The risk of failing in doing such a nonlinear story like this is very high and the way it was able to seamlessly transition from body to body and how it smoothly travels backwards and forwards through time is very remarkable. It was able to balance its comedic chops with its dramatic moments and it didn’t feel awkward when it was trying to. It developed its characters with flying colors. The two characters don’t meet but because you are exploring the life both characters, you ultimately understand why they would fall for each other as they live the life of one another. As tensions rise, your heart strings are pulled making you want to see the next frame whether they’d be succeeding or not. The way the film constantly teased you on certain scenes makes you long for the denouement of the story. Your heart will raise as it nears its finale and you will want to see how it all ends.
Overall this was a great film to watch. I do wish that there will be more available screenings of this worldwide for it to reach a wider audience. This film deserves more recognition.
I give Your Name a 9/10