And I do not use that comparison lightly. Just as "Inceptions" was a trip through reality, so is this film...but much more romantic. But don't let the "romance" fool you...
FOR PARENTS AND OTHER CONCERNED PEOPLE: There is nothing to fear. The film is very engaging and immersive...but doing all that without having to stoop to using provocative material, fan service, nor coarse language. This is not a film for children, though, because it's a very mature and complicated film.
MOVING ON: This is the first animated art film to truly draw me in. I will tell you, this film is a real trip. So what exactly is this film? It's a documentary, biography, Godzilla, mystery, drama, stage play, samurai flick, sci-fi...yes...it's that hard to explain. One thing that can be said for sure is that this is a wonderful psychological romance that will really test your mind...think "Inception" but ten times more trippy. It is also a story about love and identity...and the chase (which you can discover the meaning of if you watch). The plot is fairly simple...but the execution is very very artistic, engaging, and complexed. I can't describe it, it's just something to experience. And your emotions will fly at times. What I will say, pay attention to the dialogue, it's very purposed. Also pay attention to repetitions, they are clues. The 3 main characters (Chiyoko, the Interviewer, and the Cameraman) are also very charming, but more importantly they serve as anchors to each other - and in some cases a mirror. Also, you get to see the growth and development of people over time in a very unique way...as well as this strange phenomena of choice and retrospect. Simply put, I can't stress how beautiful this film really is. And it will take much more than one viewing to even begin to grasp a small portion of it. The ending is epic btw.
Just to let you know, the film is Japanese dubbed with English subtitles. This is one of the few times that I will say with definite affirmation that this was a wise choice. Though i'm no purist, I do think in this case a dub would have lost something...not because it would have been bad...but because there's a magical and surreal aspect that the Japanese helps to bring in this film.
SPECIAL FEATURES: Well there isn't really any special features except for a "making of..." feature which is an interview/commentary by Satoshi Kon.
ALL IN ALL: This film will twist your mind in so many fun and meaningful ways. It's beautifully pieced together and lovingly crafted. It is both uplifting, yet sad. It is so simple and yet so complexed. You'll need multiple watches...but each watch reveals a new layer of depth and meaning. All in all, it is a treasured part of my collection. This is not a film for children. It is far too complexed and many of the themes will just fly over their heads on top of the complexity. One cannot watch this passively...but, if you are willing to focus, it can be a rewarding experience. This film may be difficult for some to follow, but then again...the chase can be quite fun.