A Silent Voice

A Silent Voice ★★★★★

A Silent Voice (2016)
Dir: Naoko Yamada

Me after A Silent Voice be Like

I got so damn invested with this movie, I couldn't help but find myself tearing up multiple times. I genuinely found myself caring about our characters due to how much depth and care that's given to them.

I think it was honestly a pretty ballsy move to have the tormentor (Shoya Ishida) be our protagonist, but it worked. The movie opens with him contemplating suicide, but then wants to make things right with how he treated Shoko Nishimiya when they were kids. Yes, a big theme that is prevalent throughout A Silent Voice is bullying and harm that it does to not just tormentee, but tormentor as well. We see Shoya wanting to make things right and ask Shoko for forgiveness. And something I wasn't expecting this movie to show: The growth of change.

From the flashbacks, I found myself hating Shoya. How he treats Shoko for being deaf is so damn rage-inducing. And it's not just Shoya, but his peers were equally at fault. And then they throw Shoya under the bus and blame all the bullying on him. His peers were equally guilty by association. But then in the present, Shoya seems like he genuinely wants to make things right. Deemed an outcast after Shoko left, just seeing a bully having that much genuine remorse for what they did in the past I was honestly moved by. The growth of Shoya and the budding friendship between him and Shoko I found equally heartwarming and heartbreaking.

And then with Shoko, my heart just broke for her. Being bullied in the past, it was also easy for me to connect with her. She starts off as this young deaf girl wanting to fit in at school despite being deaf, but because of Shoya and his peers, its damn near impossible. But where her storyline was going, god I just felt for her character so damn much. I think a big reasom why Shoya and Shoko are such strong characters is the relatability. They were just so easy to gravitate towards and connect with, despite being an anime, it was like growing with these characters.

Something that admittedly concerned me going into this movie was the runtime. 130 minutes (2hr 10min) is a long time for an animated movie, but even with me watching this in two sittings, that problem was honestly non-existent for me. While yes A Silent Voice is admittedly long, in the end I felt the runtime was earned. I just found myself connecting to the story and characters that I didn't even realize the runtime.

And man, the animation simply blew me away. Nothing else can be said about that for me. There was just some sequences that just had me hooked.

I am still wrapping my emotions but A Silent Voice is one of those movies that just blew me away. A beautiful, at times heartbreaking Coming-of-age story that also manages to be quite heartwarming. Relatable story and characters as well. This movie tackles not only bullying, but I wasn't expecting it to touch on topics like trauma, suicide and regret, and they tell themes beautifully. I absolutely adored A Silent Voice and so damn glad I saw it.

Just treat people right guys. Is it that hard?

Definitely a new favorite animated movie for me. This really stuck with me. My. Damn. Emotions!

Rating: 5/5 Stars.

Asian Filmmaker/Cinema Month 2021

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