Movie Review - In This Corner of the World

18 Jul 2017 / 11:46 H.

ADAPTED from a manga by Fumiyo Kono, director Katabuchi (Princess Arete) brings to the big screen this beautiful story of life in Japan during World War II as seen through the eyes of Suzu (voiced by fashion model/actress Non), a young woman who enjoys drawing the beauty that she sees all around her.
We see the world through the eyes of the protagonist Suzu from the time she is a little girl enjoying an idyllic life in Hiroshima to when she turned 18 and is married off to Shusaku (Hosoya). Once married, Suzu lives with her husband and his parents in a port town that also happens to be a naval shipyard called Kure.
Shusaku and his father both work for the government, and things seem pleasant and idyllic as Suzu is warmly welcomed by her in-laws. Even her abrasive sister-in-law Keiko (Omi) doesn't faze her. She however bonds beautifully with Keiko's adorable little daughter, Harumi (Natsuki Inaba).
We learn about the food shortages and how Suzu uses a lot of creativity (and instructions from a samurai handbook) to cook up decent meals for the family with what she has.
However as the story approaches early August 1945, we begin to see how this simple world is shattered as the allied forces start bombing Japan, and tragedy hits close to home.
At a little over two hours long, it may seem a bit much for an animated film, but the story has so many subtle nuances that it would be hard to decide what scenes should be removed and what should be kept.
The brilliance of this film is that it depicts a world where its people were far removed from the war that this country was actively a part of until they themselves are attacked.
There are moments you will laugh out loud, and some that will make you shed a tear. The strong anti-war message is relayed in a gentle way.
This movie has won several major awards, including Best Animation Film at this year's Japan Academy Prize show, also known as the Japanese Oscars.
The film will be screened in 27 selected TGV and MBO Cinemas nationwide.

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