"Do you know the speed at which cherry blossoms fall? 5 centimeters per second... At what speed must I live, to be able to see you again?"
Another Japanese film that proves, yet again, how this country is doing it all wrong. Like their style of living and architecture, Japanese film is about simplicity with depth, beauty expressed with such subtlety that you never see it coming, and sophistication while remaining lighthearted. 5 Centimeters Per Second (Referring to the rate at which the petals fall from a Cherry Blossom Tree) artfully explicates love, loss, yearning, regret, strength, perseverance in three interconnected "episodes" in the young male protagonists' life: First as a preteen, then as a teenager, and finally as an adult, after life had, yet again, taken priority over love.
Beautiful cinematography, beautiful colors, beautiful music. Most of all, beautiful words. I am aware this is a graphic novel, but, had it been written as a novel, I have no doubt this would be one of my all time favorites. Makoto Shinkai paints pictures, emotions, characters like Monet with a paintbrush.
"And right then it felt like I finally understood where everything was, eternity, the heart , the soul. It was like I was sharing every experience I'd ever had in my past 13 years. And then, the next moment, I became unbearably sad. I didn't know what to do with these feeling. Her warmth, her soul. How was I supposed to treat them? That, I did not know. Then right then, I clearly understood that we would never be together. Our lives not yet fully realized, the vast expanse of time. They lay before us and there was nothing we could do. But then, all my worries, all my doubt, started melting away. All that was left were her soft lips on mine."
"When I read her letters, I always envisioned her alone. In the end, the train spent around two hours... motionless, in the middle of nowhere. Every minute seemed like an eternity. Time felt heavy with malice, as it slowly crept by. All I could do was grit my teeth, and try to hold back my tears."
"The things I had to tell her
and the things I hoped she would listen to. There were so many of them."
My one wish right now? To have a love like theirs. Of course, in my world, I refuse to accept the realities in life. In true denial, I tell you with confidence that I would make this work out, to conclude with fireworks, a wedding, a happily ever after.
"Over the past few years, I've wanted to move on. I wanted to grasp on to something beyond my reach. What that is, I don't even know. All I've been able to do is go on working. Then one day I realized that my heart was withering, and in it there was nothing but pain. One morning, I realized that the beliefs I had once held so passionately had disappeared. That was it, I could not take it anymore..."
The passage of time and distance are two motifs always in the background, illustrating how it can both diminish and heal our pain, especially that caused by vivid relationships. Questions surrounding decision making and the process surrounding it are also explored from different angles and point of views- how sometimes the best ones can be the hardest to make; how sometimes we are not given the option to choose; how growing up and attaining the power to do so in certain circumstances is not always a progression to be coveted, as we have no one to blame but ourselves. Although it is an animation (Which, by the way, is done beautifully), the problems explored, questions raised, and answers revealed are quite mature. Yet, they are shown in such a way that even young children would be able to understand at a certain level.
As in real life, we cannot always have happily-ever-afters. Sometimes love in unrequited. Sometimes we make difficult decisions that we regret. Sometimes we have to live with the consequences. But what keeps us going in life, especially in matters of the heart? Hope.
"Yesterday, I had a dream... A dream I have had since long ago. In that dream, we had yet to turn 13. We were in a vast countryside, completely covered with snow. The lights of the houses extended far into the distance, a dazzling sight. We walked on the thick carpet of fresh snow, but did not leave any footprints... And because of that, we both believed, without any doubt, that someday we'd watch the cherry blossoms fall again
6 out of 9 found this helpful.
Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.