Review: Your Name. (Kimi No Na Wa)

TL;DW – Run, don’t walk to this movie while you can (if you can). I know it’s still got a pretty limited release, but this is a film that you don’t want to miss.

Few films are this beautifully done from top to bottom — writing, direction, acting, animation — while also being both profound and emotionally moving. I cannot recommend this film (and, really, all of Shinkai’s films) highly enough.

FINAL VERDICT: SEE IT/BUY IT.

The Film Was Wide Enough

“Come on, Tom. Let’s finish this the way we started: together.” (Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Part 2)

I want to start with this blanket statement: adaptation is not easy, and I know from practical experience as a member of the media industry. Having majored in Digital Video & Cinema at university, I had more than one class where I not only studied the art of adaptation, but had to try my hand at writing speculative adaptive scripts. While rewarding, those were some of the most difficult scripts to crank out.

I think it’s easy to fall into what I like to call “purist mode” and say something to the effect of: “I could make this film and keep everything and it would totally work.” Well, I’m sorry to be the one to break it to you — no, it wouldn’t. And this is not only in terms of film as art, but also film as business. A filmmaker has maybe 120-minutes at best (180 if you’re lucky) to hold an audience captive, and that’s not often enough to adapt a multi-Harry_potter_deathly_hallows_part_2_poster.jpghundred-page novel. Beyond that, one has to take into account that the majority of films are high-cost risks for everyone involved. Now, I could go into a wealth of specifics on the topic of adaptation, but I’ll boil down my thoughts to this: if I can understand or justify an adaptive change in my head, then I’m usually going to be okay with it.

The Harry Potter films were, in my opinion, great films on a standalone level, and I also think they are fantastic adaptations of quite high quality, with perhaps the exception of Half-Blood Prince. While I can understand the “why” related to its cutting a good deal of important information — backstory does not make for good movie —  it still bothers me as a fan. That’s an adaptation change I can justify in my head from an objective standpoint and, while disagreeing with it as a fan, I can move along and leave it be. But there is, however, one very significant adaptive change within the final film of this series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, with which I draw umbrage: the final duel between Harry and Voldemort.

Spoiler-warning

SPOILER WARNINGThis post will contain spoilers for the entirety of the Harry Potter series, films and books alike. If you have not yet read or watched all of the Harry Potter stories, this is your chance to turn back now. You’ve been warned.

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