A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice ★★★★

A Silent Voice is one of the best animated movies of last year, if not the best, depending on whether you classify Your Name as a 2017 or a 2016 release (I'm counting A Silent Voice as a 2017 release and Your Name as a 2016 one). It's incredibly powerful, with stunning visuals, and a powerful storyline with a clear and decisive message that never feels too patronising. It's a human story that avoids the common trappings of the medium for the most part, focusing on character rather than plot and paying off really well.

I wasn't expecting this film to start its opening credits with The Who's My Generation, but it sets of an excellent tone to the film that follows and was a good music choice to begin with as the film explores the consequences of bullying, as we follow Shouya Ishida and his torment of the new girl in class, Shouko Nishimiya - who happens to be deaf. But things don't stay that way for long, and Shouya manages to mature as the years go by. It's a story of redemption, which the film pulls off perfectly.

The film is hard-hitting and packs a powerful emotional punch, although there are a few melodramatic moments here and there. The blending of tones between light-heartedness and seriousness is executed really well. It helps that the visuals are absolutely incredible from the beginning to the end, with the various locations serving as a beautiful backdrop for events to take place. It's interesting to note as well, that although the film starts with My Generation, no other song choices are used, as it opts for a quieter, subtler and more powerful approach over the course of the film.

Definitely recommended. This would probably make for a good double bill with Your Name.

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