Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (live action movie), via Netflix

Time Traveller: The Girl Who Leapt Through Time is based on the novel The Girl Who Leapt Through Time by Yasutaka Tsutsui. I haven't read the book, although I plan to at some point. I own the anime based on the book, but opted to wait to watch it until after I had seen this live action movie.

WARNING: This post contains some spoilers.

Kazuko Yoshiyama is a pharmaceuticals researcher who has secretly been working on her own project. Shortly after successfully developing a time travel liquid, she is hit by a car and ends up in a coma. She wakes up briefly and is distraught – the smell of lavender has reminded her of her first love, Kazuo Fukamachi. She gives her daughter, Akari, instructions on where to find the liquid she developed and tells her a specific date. However, she doesn't bother to say why that date is important. Akari misremembers it and travels back in time, but too late to meet Kazuo where her mother said he would be. Lacking other options, she befriends a young filmmaker named Ryota and stays at his place while she tries to find Kazuo on her own.

I wanted to like this, I really did, but it just didn't work for me. It was far more boring than I expected, and it felt unfocused.

First, Akari was so determined to help her mom that she drank a liquid that, for all she knew, could have killed her. She gave no thought to how she'd get home – all she wanted was to do what her mother asked, because maybe then her mother would get better, or at least feel more at ease.

Then, Akari met Ryota. She lived with him, watched him make the low-budget science fiction movie that was his pride and joy, fell in love with him, and learned terrible things about his future. Suddenly, she was willing to give up her chance to go home in order to try to save him. Never mind that staying wouldn't have changed a thing about his fate. She had already chased after him and failed to get to him in time to keep him from going on the bus ride that was going to kill him. Had she stayed, she'd have been alone, stuck in a time she wasn't familiar with, jobless, homeless, and grieving. To top it all off, she'd have left her mother all alone in her own time.

The movie's ending seemed pointless. I really hope that the book and the anime work better for me than this movie did.

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