A Silent Voice Cinema Review 1
Date: Monday 6th March 2017 [15:25] | Posted By: Lee
As we've said before anime film A Silent Voice will hit UK cinemas on Wednesday 15th March 2017. Fresh from the success of Your Name, the folks at Anime Limited are distributing this title in the UK and Ireland. We could have written one review, but after heated discussion our editor and I interpreted the movie differently, so we're going to publish both reviews.
Reiko Yoshida's A Silent Voice is what I would describe as more of an experience than a film. We follow the story of a young boy, Shoya Ishida, who struggles throughout to come to terms with his bullying of Shoko Nishimiya, a deaf girl who is transferred to his school. As the story progresses we see the internal struggles and challenges each character faces which causes us, as viewers to self reflect and think to ourselves how we would have reacted in a similar situation.
The evolution of the characters in the film is what makes it shine. I found myself going from a strong dislike of a character to liking them several scenes later.
However, there are moments of frustration where I don't understand why a character would ever choose to make a certain decision. Some of the scenes are a little forced merely to push the plot along. I understand we were all children once, but some of the behaviour exhibited in the film is not something I would attribute to any of the characters, especially as they are all portrayed as "good kids".
Although the movie has a great deal of depth and really deals with some tricky subjects, I feel it is a little too relentless. It spends so much time focusing on the negative aspects of the characters and the negative decisions they make. It becomes almost frustrating to watch at times. The comic relief was scarce and the balance between intense emotional scenes and comic relief scenes really wasn't there. As a result, the viewer is left feeling exhausted by the end of the film.
What I did love was the art style and use of music. Every aspect from the artistic decisions of each scene, the symbolism down to the absence of music was very deliberate in making sure everyone in the audience was on the edge of their seats. At key points in the story you could hear a pin drop in the cinema, the air thick with tension and suspense.
A Silent Voice tackles some really difficult subjects and delivers shock factor throughout. I would recommend every anime fan who enjoys the Slice of Life genre sees this film at least once, just to experience it.
Catch it while you can
Anime fans in the UK and Ireland can catch a screening near them on Wednesday 15th March 2017, details are on asilentvoice.co.uk
Pre-order it on DVD and Blu-ray
Anime Limited have just announced that A Silent Voice is available to pre-order from Amazon.co.uk.
Or read the manga
If you're hungering for more of Shoko and Shoya's story you can get the original 7 volume manga from Kodansha Comics via Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com. The movie follows pretty much the same story, but as manga has more time to explore the characters you'll get extra background details about their lives and also a few more chapters into their story together.