The Garden of Words / 言の葉の庭 / Kotonoha no Niwa (2013)

Movie Review The Garden of Words (2013)
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Clocking in at 46 minutes, The Garden of Words briefly wraps up all Makoto Shinkai’s earmarks, with gorgeous Malickian pictures and a heart-wrenching story told mostly in monologues. As proof of his natural approach (shown in the visual elements and the lack of fantasy taste), this movie has been my second favorite feature of Shinkai’s masterpiece (after 5 Centimeters per Second).

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The story revolves around, Takao (voiced by Miyu Irino), a 15-year-old boy, who dreams of being a shoemaker. On rainy days, he likes to skip classes and goes to a garden to practice making real shoes. There, he meets a much older woman, Yukino (Kana Hanazawa), who he finds very mysterious by a chance. Every rainy day, both of them meet in that garden as the relationship between them grows more intimately. Yet, the rainy season won’t last forever.

In comparison to Shinkai’s previous works, The Garden of Words is a little too moderate if not melodramatic, but lite and still enjoyable. Shinkai’s vibrant and detailed visual style doesn’t change as he depicts the naturalness of the rain and the light with an excessively warm tone. Visually, this film looks less different from its predecessors; yet, if you think it sounds different, it might be right. There’s no Tenmon, composing the score for this movie—as Shinkai has Daisuke Kashiwa on the pitch, who fortunately doesn’t forget to put an emotionally catchy song (this time, it’s “Rain” from Motohiro Hata) like 5 Centimeters per Second.

The duration and the pace of the movie is a little bit tricky—as the film goes forward very quick. Yet, I think it’s enough to wrap such kind of story (noticing that Shinkai’s not good at writing a longer story), but not enough to cover what it might project—between leaving it a heartbreaking story or concluding it with a more risky end? However, it’s already a good movie after all. So… let the rain speaks.

[imdb style=”transparent”]tt2591814[/imdb]

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9 responses

  1. Twist di tengah filmnya agak maksa tapi masuk akal dan heartbreaking ya.
    Anw.. Thanks buat rekomendasinya 😀

    1. Twist yang tentang bu guru yaaah hehe

  2. Aku malah kurang suka film ini. Agak membosankan dan bertele-tele.

    1. Emang bertele-tele, tapi nuansanya itu lhooo

  3. […] it’s a raining Thursday here in Indonesia, so I give an honorable mention to The Garden of Words, another work from Makoto Shinkai (5 Centimeters per […]

  4. woeisrizky Avatar

    bener banget kyk film Terrence Malick enak dipandang tapi bisa bosenin, dan bagian ending nya cheesy banget.

    1. Kerasa Malick bgt itu karena voice-overnya juga hehe
      Setuju! Endingnya underwhelming sekali, untung ada lagunya Motohiro Hata yg oke 😀

  5. […] Japanese box office recently. Shinkai (5 Centimeters per Second, Children who Chase Lost Voices, The Garden of Words) is always known for his penchant in crafting picturesque, hyperrealistic 2D animation with […]

  6. […] Second). Meanwhile, this new story sees it juxtaposing with endless rain (making a parallel with The Garden of Words). Plot-wise, this one is less complicated than his 2016 works. Most plot points are guided with […]

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