Viewing the heightened emotion and drama of adolescence with an unjudgemental eye, it’s a reminder that schooldays are always the best.
Stream A Silent Voice
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Its wrenching honesty provides a potent counter to the simple-minded let’s-all-be-friends-and-sing-a-song inanities of “My Little Pony,” “The Emoji Movie” and other recent American animated features.
Uses drawn images to peer into the dark corners of teenage life: bullying, self-loathing, and depression.
Where director Yamada excels is in depicting the interior worlds of the two main characters, paying particular attention to details, whether visual or sonic, that seem to place a constant divide between Shoya and Shoko.
It’s a beguiling film: subtle, sensuous and delicate.
Yamada makes a point of contrasting the agonising complexity of high-school life with the clean simplicity of the moments that really count: hushed conversations on a bridge in springtime, a shared roller-coaster ride under empty blue skies.
It has some interesting visuals, but A Silent Voice demands investment in the redemption of someone who’s impossible to root for.
Yamada’s creative direction shows a filmmaker with a distinctive way of looking at the world, following in the footsteps of other maverick Japanese talents like Ozu, Kitano and Miyazaki. Yep, she’s that good.