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The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
(Toki o Kakeru Shôjo)
Winner of Japan Academy Prize For Animation of the Year, 2006

By Kokoro-chan

Movie, Rating: 12+

Imagine what would happen if a regular person like you were to suddenly come across the power of travelling through time. There'd be no limit to all the cool things you could do: never ever being late for school, getting straight A's on 'pre'-viewed exam papers, repeating a fun single hour karaoke session over and over again, making someone else the butt of all jokes or even sneaking up on your kid sister before she gets to sneak up on that favourite pudding of yours nestled safely inside the refrigerator! Sounds crazy? Well, it happened to Makoto Konno. And that's how she became 'the girl who leapt through time'.

High-school student Makoto had a pretty average life until her accidental encounter with a strange-looking object at the science lab changed everything. The incident somehow left her with supernatural time-leaping powers and after that, her life was never the same. There ARE a lot of things to be done in this short span of human life and Makoto was determined not to miss a single moment of it. But then again, every frivolous action has its consequences. With her noble mission of 'fixing problems' causing even more problems, Makoto must now come to accept and appreciate reality as it is before time truly runs out and takes her loved ones away from her for good.

TGWLTT (whoa, that's pretty long) is said to be an animated adaptation inspired by and following the general theme of Yasutaka Tsutsui's 1976 novel of the same title. In fact, the anime seems to be somewhat of a sequel to the novel and has a few loose ends in the storyline that are quite confusing and literally scream at your face, “Go read the book first!” While this can be a bit annoying and also assuming that most viewers are as lazy as this writer here, the question that remains is whether one should still go for this anime or not and why.

The answer to that would be: yes and because it's good. Not anything super groundbreaking, but definitely good. The anime is presented with a pseudo-science fiction background and has an overall mellow tone to it. The animation is fluid and first grade with bright, sunny colours. The characters are rather plain but believable and realistic nevertheless. Daily life and relationships are portrayed as they are with a twist of experimental 'what-if's in the storyline which are pretty interesting to watch. The storytelling is rather light-hearted seeing how it gives subtle hints to various complicated emotions but doesn't delve deeper into them.

One of the biggest letdowns of the movie is probably its ending which is a little confusing and abrupt, almost like Tagore's short story theory: it ends yet it just doesn't feel like it has ended…which is annoying and interesting at the same time. Incidentally, the best part of the anime happens to be its beginning which seems boring at first, but is not. Five minutes into the movie and the main character goes crashing down the road and is hurled violently into the air in a freak accident right in front of a raging advancing train. Now who would call that boring?

Our very own Jawad-kun is pretty fond of TGWLTT, he always has this dreamy look on his face whenever you mention the anime in front of him. This reviewer thought the anime was pretty cute too. Not awesome, but still, cute. It's worth giving a try at least.


By The Anarchist Kitten

From Paris With Love is made for genre fans, not the average movie-goer. Pierre Morel and Luc Besson, the director and the writer, a tag team that previously brought action extravaganza “Taken”, made this move to appeal solely to the action fan base. You'll forget the story an hour after you watch it. You might even forget the story while watching the movie. But all you really need to know is that good guys are blowing up bad guys.

The story itself may not be particularly noteworthy, but there is lots of action as Travolta shows everyone who is boss in this action-packed special effects blow-out. If you like movies with stories that feature non-stop violence, then this movie is for you. If you like John Travolta, then this movie is for you. But the second you start expecting a storyline, character development or great cinematography, basically the second you start expecting too much from this movie, you'll see the holes. Remember, it's a commercial product, with the worst of Hollywood inspired testosterone driven machismo worship, so artistic merit inevitably gives way to the usual dose of special effects and fast-paced action.

The first 20 minutes are spent with Jonathan Rhys Meyers, an aide to the American ambassador's office in Paris with a side-job as a low-level CIA agent, and it feels like the movie might be one of those slow spy thrillers. However, once John Travolta's character comes into the screen, the film takes off like a roller coaster. His charisma and flair gives the film an extra kick and it gives much of the action a new flavour. Picture a John McClane without the stick up his behind. Once the fun starts it doesn't stop. Whenever you think this film is about to slow down, it is in fact getting ready for the next shootout.

What happened in this movie is a reinvention of a new, old school action hero who would have stood in one line with Willis, Stallone and Schwarzenegger without trying to be one of them. Basically, you need to enjoy old-school action movies, late '80s and '90s to like this. This would be the pre-Matrix era, where any and all gun use doesn't necessarily need bullet-time effects.

But the best part about the action sequences is you can understand what's happening during the fights. So many films these days simply edit around the action to the point that you have no idea of who is still standing. If you're sick of the smartass editing, where action is simply a rush of different colours and before you know it, it's all over and prefer old-school action where you get to see it all happen in real-time circumstances, then this movie is definitely for you.


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