The unrealized potential makes the rote line style and stagnant backdrops seem all the blander.
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What are critics saying?
A strange little movie that attempts the tricky feat of combining comedy, drama, sci-fi and romance, but it doesn’t get those individual elements right so it never coheres as a whole.
Akiyuki Shinbo and Nobuyuki Takeuchi's time-travel device mostly just exists to complicate what is, at heart, a trite and sexist love story.
What should be tender and whimsical feels repetitive and off-putting.
For all its temporal twists and lyrical, sometimes remarkably photorealistic backdrops, Shinbo’s movie has none of “Your Name’s” narrative intricacy or stunning visual richness, much less its radical cross-gender empathy. These Fireworks look depressingly flat from any angle.
There are more engaging fireworks, or at least small sparks, when the film begins to dig into the feelings, friendships and jealousies of its two main protagonists.
It’s confusing and disorientating but brings back dreamy teen angst like the strongest of madeleines.
Where Your Name’s star-crossed protagonists were fully formed characters who held equal weight in the narrative, Fireworks is very much told from the male point of view, and Nazuna seldom rises above “free-spirited object of desire.”
Despite its novel plot, and some lovely music and incidental artwork—the title fireworks, the rugged seaside and that glittery magic ball are all beautifully rendered—the film quickly drags.
Fireworks takes you on that little journey. It may affect you deeply, or it may just come and go, a fizzling sentimental aside in an otherwise hectic day. But it’s hard to deny that it approaches its fantastical story with maturity and grace, and a thoughtfulness about what it would truly mean to leap into a “what if” and seriously consider never coming out again.