Friday, January 21, 2011
Summer Wars (2010)
One of the best things about director Mamoru Hosoda's feature film "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time", which I absolutely love, is how interesting and complex all the characters are. Unfortunately, though "Summer Wars" is much more visually stunning than "Girl", the plot does leave something to be desired. The most interesting character in the film is the Grandmother, and her relationship with her family (especially with Wabisuke) is extremely complex. However, the film chooses not to focus on the interesting characters, and instead tries to concentrate on the poorly formulated romance between Kenji and Natuski. The film also misses an opportunity to really explore the subject of technological dangers and dependency that our society faces - it touches the issue, but never quite gets where it wants on that front. That being said, the film is in no way a failure - the use of the "big eccentric family" subplot has been done over and over but this time it feels exhilarating and new. And, based solely on the visuals, this film is magical and magnificent, especially any time the breathtaking digital "Oz" world is involved. It may not be the most satisfying film plot-wise, and it certainly does not match up to "The Girl Who Leapt Through Time", but this film does everything else so, so right.