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  • Showing only topics with the tag "drama". Back to normal view
    1. You should see Belle

      It's fairly rare to get the opportunity to get to watch a Japanese animated movie in theaters in the US, and earlier today I watched Belle in IMAX. It's honestly really hard to talk about the film...

      It's fairly rare to get the opportunity to get to watch a Japanese animated movie in theaters in the US, and earlier today I watched Belle in IMAX.

      It's honestly really hard to talk about the film in it's entirety. It's a really deeply layered film, and even with how extensive the previews for this film have been they don't really do a very good job of describing what the film is about. Even after saying that I don't really want to explain it because I think that it's best to just jump in and enjoy it - and frankly I'm not sure I could explain it very well without spoiling it. That being said, because it's so layered and there's so much content it talks about it can be hard to grasp the deeper meanings. I saw this movie with my husband and I can tell you that he definitely didn't get it. After reading a handful of reviews it looks like a number of critics didn't get it either. The good news is that you don't have to be a film major to enjoy it; it's still going to be plenty enjoyable even if you miss those meanings. It helps that the production on this film is utterly fantastic, and the sound design and music are particularly fantastic.

      From an academic perspective this film literally pulls off every trick in the animation and filmmaking books. It uses traditional style 2D animation, it's got 3D animation, some scenes use a mixture of the two. It has computer-generated tweening at times, and in other times the 2D drawings are morphed to animate them and create the illusion of life. The director Mamoru Hosoda has a pretty long track record at this point and this film has aspects that show off his signature aesthetics and unique techniques that he has developed over the years. And he does so to a great effect; I found myself being strongly emotionally affected by several of it's scenes. Of those highly affecting scenes, not all of them evoked tears; there were also plenty of times where I found myself almost laughing because the scenes were full of positivity.

      While it's tempting to consider this a retelling of Beauty and Beast from the previews, the film is so much more than that. Even the most basic understanding you could take from this film would not support that position. In fact the "beast" of this story is not even a romantic interest.

      The thing that endears me personally to this movie so much is that there are two dramatic scenes that are handled so realistically and naturally it felt like I was reliving portions of my own life. There is a scene early on where the main character tries to sing quietly to herself when she's all by her lonesome but is so overcome with emotions that she not only can't hold a single note, the act makes her throw up. And in the last act there is a scene where a boy is suffering from emotional abuse from his father and is completely unable to trust people who are trying to help him. He's been too hurt by people who promised to help but eventually left him in the same situation, allowing more abuse to happen.

      There are many reasons that I would recommend watching this movie, but I wanted to recommend this movie to this community in particular because I think that some of the messages this movie was made to tell will resonate with the people here. The film is a struggle to answer the question "why should we help other people?" The film also has a lot to say about how we treat each other over the internet, as you may have already surmised.

      10 votes