Your Name

Makoto Shinkai’s 2016, Your Name, is an astoundingly aesthetically beautiful movie with a storyline that hurts oh so good. Aside from its beauty, the movie often hits the right notes with its humor, story, and character development. Considered a “Romantic Fantasy,” the genre may turn you off, but before it does, allow me to explain why it shouldn’t. 

While the Your Name trailer presents what some may consider a cheesy, and, at times, even off-putting tale of romance, the movie is actually much more than that. At times Your Name is overly overly romantic (and that’s coming from someone who can appreciate a quality chick-flick). Personally, when watching a romance, I sometimes struggle to buy into the relationship. I often find that these stories are written to go from 0 to 100 in the blink of an eye. Though the end of the movie does seem a bit expedited in this regard, it ultimately presents a rather organic flow in the relationship between Mitsuha Miyamizu (Stephanie Sheh) and Taki Tachibana (Michael Sinterniklaas).

It shows how they come to appreciate one another based on progressive experiences when acting as the other person. I think much of their falling into love is unspoken, which is awfully symbolic of how the movie ends. What can perhaps be most appreciated about its romantic elements, however, is the emphasis on union, a cornerstone of true love that differentiates love from lust. Falling in love is an act of knowing, and over time, even adopting elements of another person. What truer way can one fall in love than to literally live in another’s shoes? Not to mention Mitsuha’s grandmother’s monologue describing union and time is borderline poetic. 

Though Your Name’s romantic storyline is unlikely to be universally appreciated, I would urge those who are skeptical to give the movie a chance to acknowledge that this movie can just as well be described as a mind-bender (which is the word I used to sway my fiance into watching it when the words “romantic fantasy” put a bad taste in his mouth). The nature of the movie moves the audience through a sequence of questioning what’s real and…when it’s real. The result (without giving too much away): an unsettling yet beautiful emotional impact. If you’re looking for a movie that gives the feels, with some confusion, Aha! Moments, and giggles along the way, give Your Name a shot. I think you’ll be glad you did!

Your Name is available for rent on Prime Video ($).

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