Weathering with You movie cast: Kotaro Daigo, Nana Mori, Shun Oguri, Tsubasa Honda, Sakura Kiryu
Weathering with You movie director: Makoto Shinkai
Weathering with You movie rating: 3
Japan’s entry for the Oscars is a little bit of everything. A story of childhood and romance? A fairytale about magic and mythology? A parable for climate change?
That is not necessarily a good thing, because even as you are trying to hold on to one appealing thing about Weathering With You — and there are, admittedly, many — director Makato Shinkai moves on to something else. Shinkai is best known for Your Name, one of the highest-grossing anime films of all time.
At the heart of this feature is Hina (Mori), a girl who can literally summon the sun on a rainy day. A crazy streak of weather has left it pouring in Tokyo for days on end, and people would give anything for a sunny day. The feature makes you realise, quite nicely, how uplifting a clear blue sky, a ray of sunshine, or a parting of the clouds, can be. Hodaka (Daigo) stumbles upon Hina and her little brother (a charming Kiryu) by chance. A runaway, he has found refuge with the proprietor of a small magazine that does stories on crazy stuff like the legend of “the sunshine girl”, Suga (Oguri). Having realised Hina’s powers, especially in a soaking, drenched Tokyo, Hodaka finds a way for them to monetise it. But it’s all good-natured, with the two helping cease the rain for people such as a father who wants a day in the park with his daughter, shopkeepers hoping to do good business at the flea market, an old woman who wants to contact her late husband etc.
There are some ideas that stand out, in the rather lengthy film: A cumulonimbus cloud holds as much water as a lake, so could it hold an entire ecosystem of its own? What if the ground and sky are one, and our existence a temporary passing? At what cost are we tinkering with the weather? Can things go back to what they were? Finally, even, are things as bad as they seem?
Make of it what you will.