A Silent Voice / 聲の形 / Koe no Katachi (2017) – Review

Review: In its 130-min duration, Koe no Katachi a.k.a. A Silent Voice tackles a complex coming-of-age drama of consequences, self-alienation and reconciliation. Sometimes it staggers, sometimes it falls into melodrama; but, in the end, it passes a meandering way with subtlety and grounded intricacy.

Naoko Yamada’s first feature is adapted from a manga series by Yoshitoki Oima. The story orbits on a bittersweet connection between Shoya Ishida (voiced by Miyu Irino) and Shoko Nishimiya (Saori Hayami). As a kid, Shoya, not knowing the consequences of his deeds, bullies and abuses hearing-impaired Shoko. When consequences finally catch him up, all he has done to Shoko return to haunt him – excommunication, persecution, and all. Since then, he decides to prefer solitary, avoid contacts with people, and alienate himself from society. Continue reading “A Silent Voice / 聲の形 / Koe no Katachi (2017) – Review”


Your Name / 君の名は。/ Kimi no na wa (2016) – Review

Review: The “Makoto Shinkai is the new Hayao Miyazaki” buzz embarks again when his latest feature, Kimi no na wa, or as known as Your Name storms 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 heart-wrenching story and viable imagination, which transcends in his natural approach.

Shinkai’s works often radiate idyll from the inside, simultaneously emanate visceral, candid narrative. Kimi no na wa / Your Name is no different; only you might bet that it comes from Shinkai’s wildest dream, rather than from his sober contemplation. It might initially look like a usual gender-swapping drama, but as it goes, it unravels more: from time-travel to disaster-drama and quest for love.  Continue reading “Your Name / 君の名は。/ Kimi no na wa (2016) – Review”

Sweet Bean (2015) – JAFF Jogja 2016 Review

Review: Sweet Bean observes a sweet, subtle chemistry between a desperate man with an elderly woman through the making of sweet bean paste for Japanese-classic pancake, dorayaki. Here, sweet bean paste becomes a symbolic connection of present and paste in a frame of troubled people, living in alienation and barely having life. Continue reading “Sweet Bean (2015) – JAFF Jogja 2016 Review”

Attack on Titan: Part 1 (2015) – Review

The world is cruel…” — Mikasa

I realize that adapting a popular manga/anime into a live action is like a mission impossible yet doable. Determining an appropriate act is one thing, attempting not to modifying characters’ appearance, motivation or, most importantly, fate is the direst challenge.

However, as a purist to Shingeki no Kyojin manga along with the anime (source materials from which this live action is adapted), I cannot hide rooting disappointment over this.

To boldly highlight: this live action, seemingly, only borrows the source materials’ enticing premise as well as some most important characters to create a completely different self-proclaimed live action (which I prefer calling this a fanfiction).  Continue reading “Attack on Titan: Part 1 (2015) – Review”

Stand by Me Doraemon (2014)

It might make you laugh or cry, but there’s something deeper than just some emotion escalation in Stand by Me Doraemon—there’s simply a connection to everyone who grows up with Doraemon.

Forever from now on, Doraemon and I won’t stay together,” said Nobita after drinking Liar Liar Liquid.

Continue reading “Stand by Me Doraemon (2014)”

Killers (2014)

“Killers is a slow-paced psychological thriller about 2 completely different men who are intertwined by fate. It’s a tale of obsession and awakening the evil within marking Mo Brothers’ leap of directorial career and all casts fabulous act.”

Since their directorial debut Dara (2008), which precedes the extended length Rumah Dara a.k.a Macabre (2009), The Mo Brothers–Kimo Stamboel and Timo Tjahjanto–never stop spilling blood. While making their gory trademarks with chainsaw and antlers, Timo has expanded their gory universe through Libido, a segment in The ABCs of Death (2012) and Safe Haven in V/H/S 2 marking his collaboration with The Raid’s Gareth Evans. Well, set your thoughts of The Mo Bros’ filmography aside before watching Killers, since this movie is completely in different league from its predecessors. Yet, being different doesn’t then imply that Killers is a subtle one… ’cause it’s not. More killers here!