EDITING : 2024.3.5 화 15:38
The Gachon Herald
The Disaster and Fantasy Over the DoorThe new journey of Shinkai Makoto,
Lee Hae-Jin  |  huckey@gachon.ac.kr
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Updated : 2023.07.05  17:45:43
트위터 페이스북 미투데이 요즘 네이버 구글 msn
 Do you know <Your Name.>, the movie that shocked the Korean audience six years ago? It made numerous people cry or laugh, its audience rating was over 9, and it got over 4 million viewers. Shinkai Makoto, well-known for his movie <Your Name.> which deals with the collision of a meteorite in Korea, completed the disaster trilogy with <Weathering With You> dealing with a flood and <Suzume> addressing an earthquake. People thought that <Suzume> was an independent movie, but it was connected to the big theme of ’’disaster‘ creating Makoto's worldview. Particularly, since its release on March 8th, <Suzume> has had over 3 million viewers within approximately the first three weeks, and has had over 5 million viewers since April 29th. So, how did he describe this disaster filled worldview and why are his movies so beloved?

 The movie begins with a scene where a girl breathing hard in a meadow and looking for her mother. At the moment when the woman calls the girl 'Suzume' and the girl calls the woman 'mother', Suzume wakes up. She gets ready to go to school as if she doesn't remember the dream, and she meets a man on the way going to school. The man asks her where a ruin is, and she goes to school after answering that the ruin is on the mountain over there. As Suzume feels something awkward, she goes back to the mountain which has the ruin in a hurry and discovers a white door. As soon as she opens the door, the dreamy night sky and the meadow that she has seen in her dream appear. Even though she tries to go inside the door possessedly, she cannot go into the world inside the door but goes to the opposite side of the door. Then a fox stone statue rises to the surface of the water, and Suzume lifts it unconsciously. At that moment, the fox stone statue is transformed into the real fox and disappears out of her sight. Shocked Suzume heads toward the school quickly.

 At lunchtime, Suzume discovers an enormous wine-colored something that her friends can't see . After a closer look, its starting point is at the place that has the white door, and she directly runs to the mountain. When she arrives, the man she encountered on the way to school is blocking the white door that seems to be opened because of the wind, and Suzume agrees to close the door. They close the door barely and succeed in locking the door with his key completely. Suzume tells him to go to her house in order to treat his wound and introduce briefly each other. The name of the man is Souta, and his work is to lock the door. After that, they hear cat sounds. When Suzume gives food to the cat, it says “Suzume is kind. I like you.“ in human language, and transforms Souta into the chair saying that Souta is interrupted. Souta, feeling uncomfortable being the chair, chases after the cat, and Suzume follows after Souta, who leaves the key in Suzume's house. On a ferry that happens to be on board, Suzume having a conversation with Souta at dawn realizes that the cat is the stone statue she lifted in the morning. Suzume and Souta have to lock the doors to prevent 'Mimiz', the wine-colored alien creature. At the same time, she learns that it is because of her that Souta got transformed into the chair. This is the moment when she decides to restore him to being a human any way she can.
 Thanks to the people who post pictures of the cute cat 'Daijin' on their SNS, Suzume get to know the location of Daijin in real-time, so she continuously chases it with Souta. Since Suzume and Souta discover the door at the place that Daijin heads for, they block the doors several times, and she almost dies by being lured by the wonderful landscape inside the door. They detect something strange about the incomparably huge scale of the earthquake in Tokyo. It turns out that the seal of the rocking stone plays the same role as the previous stone statue of Daijin, releases, and Suzume uses Souta as a rocking stone necessarily due to the pressure to prevent the continuous escape of Daijin and earthquake.
 How do you feel after reading the plot? Probably, you will think that the plot is too complicated and difficult to understand or feel interested. The impression from the audience and industry members isn't all that different. There is a response that they cannot empathize with the heart line of Suzume, also there is the opposite response that they feel comfortable understanding because Suzume's behaviors don't depart from the standard pattern. The reason why reviews are worlds apart in comparison with other movies is that Shinkai Makoto decreased his own characterisics and just tried to capture the popular appeal, to make the film unpredictable.
 I haven't fully summarized the plot all the way to the end intentionally in this article. I hope Gachon students can concentrate on this movie by watching the visual effect, direction, and the unpredictable end which has been acclaimed greatly. A critic Yu-mi Jeong said that the direction of Shinkai Makoto who has dealt with the disasters reaches its peak, and Eun-seon Lee said that 'The spectacle of the movie stems from the heart preventing the disaster, not the situation itself.’ If you want to participate in his journey of consolation, I recommend you to watch <Suzume>, one of his disaster trilogy. 


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