Colorful(2010) by Keiichi Hara

Posted: May 18, 2011 in Discussions and Reviews (Sizzling My Bacon), Movies

I didn’t expect much as I pressed the play button on my stream as I randomly took a glance at this movie. It only caught my eye because I had not seen an animated film for a while and from the past few experiences with animations, they have been mostly are above average in areas where a lot of other representations would usually fail. Nonetheless as I  walked myself into the first few minutes of the film I was doubting myself on how good this film was going to be.

From the start you’re introduced to your protagonist through a first person perspective as he is narating through text without a voice. He is a soul about to enter the train leading to death. On the way there he gets interrupted by a child like character who informs him that the is lucky, as his boss is going to give him a second chance at life. All he has to do is figure out what his greatest sin was. He is hesitant to go but the childlike character informs him that he has no choice. His soul is then implanted in the body of a child who has committed suicide, called Makoto Kobayashi and he must live as him as he tries to complete his trial.  At that point the story starts to unfold and you meet various characters such as the family members and who Makoto was familiar with during his lifetime; but it’s also around this very moment where the movie will either win you over or turn you into a savage beast filled with anger towards it. In other words you might  feel very uncomfortable.

To be clear, after the movie is done introducing you to the plot naturally you get into the character and his development throughout the film. But not only does it feel slow in its progression, but this soul who is inhabiting Makoto is a total dick with everyone. He’s an asshole to the point where I almost pressed pause to slap my screen back to it’s senses. The soul seems to not care for the trial at all and on top of that if you’re thinking what kind of person that soul was in his past life, the only thing that comes to mind the worst  of criminals. The problem is though that this goes on for very long to the point where if you’re very impatient you may be very angry and just leave. Nonetheless I encourage you to stay seated as there are some very powerful scenes that are very rewarding to sit through.  Notably near the ending they lay down quite a few powerful scenes at once, and it feels like the movie  throws down a left hook followed with an uppercut to knock you back in your seat.  I can say if there’s one thing this movie does right is make you feel emotional.

Some other areas in this production are quite average, for example the music which although it did stand out, wasn’t as memorable. Although the setting for this movie is incredible, whoever did the drawings did a good job on the characters and the setting. Nothing too exaggerated to the point where it just seems a little bit comical. There’s even an awkward looking girl who is drawn quite surprising how you’d picture one to look like if it were drawn. Usually the artists get carried away to the point where you’re thinking if you’ve met a similar person that that’s what their personality feels like but it’s not what the person actually looks like. An easy example of what I mean is a nerd who is usually depicted as having big glasses and teeth that stick out or braces that are really obvious, there is none of that in this movie.

Colorful is one of those movies that gives you a good sense of satisfaction as you reach the conclusion. I would really love to see a live action version of this as it really reminded me of the movie “Eve and the Fire Horse” which led me to think that it is entirely possible. You will probably watch the movie more than once if you’re already the drama type or if you want to understand some of the Japanese literature they implement in this movie, but even as a person who enjoys other genres, I really had a great time with this one, even if it does feel a bit long.

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