Suzume no Tojimari

There are people in this world who decide not to watch anime, for whatever reason. They don’t want to read subtitles, they think they are kid’s shows, they are afraid to have their eyes opened. And then there are the people who have had their eyes opened…
Anime doesn’t have to be some Naruto, Pokemon fad following. What I love about anime is its ability to create and bring life to stories no amount of CGI can bring. The breadth of world building and character creating, the attention to detail and the emotional evocation…
Suzume no Tojimari, brought to you by Makoto Shinkai, the same man who brought us Your Name, does all of that.
The very first scene, with it’s strange and ominous music, reminicient to me of the first time I saw the beginning of Princess Mononoke, or the opening sequemce of Beauty and the Beast. Breath-taking.
Suzume is a movie about a young woman who begins a journey to fix a world destroying problem she inadvertently started. The array of characters, while perhaps stock and seen before in animes of similar style. The drunken karaoke singers. The suspicious toddlers. The trouble-making cat. The aloof young man who walks the world alone, until he meets someone worth walking it with.
Suzume is a movie about a young woman who begins a journey and eventually falls in love. There is no mystery about that. It is about what happens in between. This movie exercises its power to make us feel confused, feel angry, to laugh, and to cry. And in the end, you realize everything has come full circle. When that strange music begins to play again and the credits roll, suddenly you feel the that door close softly behind you.


Weirdly, the last Indian film I watched starred Ajay Devgn. This film was nothing extraordinary, in the sense of unseen.
Ajay, who played the title role of Bholaa, is merely seeking to find his daughter. But, he is roped into a confusing drug crime and we learn a bit more about his brooding self’s past.
Ajay is like the Tom Cruise of Indian films. Action packed, extraordinary stunts, and 3D worthy special effects. All while wearing a sensible pair of sketchers.
Majority of the film, admittedly, confuses me. He, a short dorky guy, and a stern, by the book, cop lady, drive a bus desperately to town, hauling some 40 drugged cops. It is like the film Speed, only Indian.
Along the way various bad guys set to foil their journey. Perhaps the best group, a group of shirtless, Samoan beachy haired guys, wearing basketball shorts.
All the while, a group of bad guys sets upon an impenetrable police station. It becomes the scene out of the bad Resident Evil movie. You know the one. Where Leon, the new recruit, finds himself locking the station down against a zombie onslaught. Only, this recruit is 55, and the zombies are mindless henchmen.
And, being an Indian film, you can’t forget the Bollywood music and dance. Unfortunately, only one scene, and not super impressive. Save for the lead bad guy, a goth Javier Bardem look-a-like Bollywood dancing while killing some failure.
And, the romcom montage scene of him falling in love with the beautiful doctor and attempting to change his ways…
This is all not to say that the film was bad. Indian films have been stepping their game up and I was happy to spend money to see this one. Films like this give you a taste of everything. Musical, romantic, funny, and slightly ridiculous Tom Cruise action scenes.
It also cheritably provided an intermission. Actually, the second theater outing with an intermission I have experienced within a year. Running at some 2.5 hours, they are being generous. Here in America, 2.5 hours is child’s play compared to the Marvel films or the Lord of the Rings. You will hold your pee or risk missing the MOST critical scene of the entire film.