The latest offering from acclaimed Japanese filmmaker Makoto Shinkai, best known for his 2016 fantasy film Your Name & Weathering with You, is a captivating and intriguing work of art. With its stunning art, stunning blend of sci-fi, supernatural disasters, and political commentary, with a touch of humour.
The story revolves around Suzume, voiced by Nichole Sakura. Suzume is a bright yet lonely teenager who lives with her aunt following the death of her mother. One day, while on a cycle, she encounters Souta, a mysterious young man on a quest to find a door. Curiosity piqued, Suzume decides to follow him, leading her to an abandoned ruin where she discovers a strange door in the middle of nowhere.
Like a modern Alice in Wonderland, Suzume opens the door and unleashes a series of cosmic forces and earthquakes. It soon becomes clear that Souta’s mission was to seal these destructive portals, and he needs a “keystone” to do so. However, fate intervenes, and Souta is transformed into a broken child’s chair that speaks with his voice. Meanwhile, the keystone takes the form of a talking cat called Daijin.
Thus begins their epic and quirky journey, a delightful blend of mythic and comic elements. Suzume’s story can be seen as an allegory for the tumultuous changes that come with growing up and finding one’s place in the world, but it goes beyond mere sexual awakening to explore broader themes of power dynamics, respect, and visibility.
Above all, Suzume’s mission is to protect nature itself, a powerful and timeless concept with deep generational resonance.