Tekkon Kinkreet

4 Apr

Tekkon Kinkreet

HOLY.

CRAP.

This movie is fantastic! Incredible! So, so, so, so, SOOOOO GOOOOOOOOOOOD!!!!!!!!

Now that that’s out of my system, allow me to actually talk about the movie.

Based on the three-volume manga of the same name, Tekkon Kinkreet tells the story of Treasure Town, a colorful, run-down metropolis in Japan. This story is centered on Black and White, two young orphans (known collectively as the “cats”) who claim control of the town. The trouble starts when members of the Yakuza arrive, aiming to take over. Black, who will do whatever it takes to stay in control, picks a fight with them. The power struggle escalates until the Yakuza brings in a nefarious individual known as the Snake who initiates his plan to convert Treasure Town into an amusement park and sends hulking, invincible assassins after Black and White to clear his way.

One of the more impressive things about this film is its ambitious, sprawling narration. Like many graphic novels, this story has a wide cast of characters. Instead of leaving some of them aside, screenwriter Anthony Weintraub (who wrote an English screenplay, which was then translated to Japanese, then, presumably, left as it was for the subtitles, leaving me to realize that I probably should have watched it in English) tells all of their stories with ingenious efficiency. What’s most impressive is that he does this while still maintaining cohesion and never losing focus on the core of the story, the relationship between Black and White.

Black and White. One hardened and violent, the other dwelling in childlike innocence.  Complete opposites, yet held together by a bond stronger than anyone can truly understand.

Yes, the symbolism of black and white in this movie is basically Cliché City. But it works in the movie’s favor, blending beautifully with rest of its elements: a gritty crime story set in a fantastical universe that looks as if it were scratched out (gorgeously) in crayon, where children fly over rooftops; a Yakuza member with a child on the way; another who cherishes the memories of his childhood; an amusement park built on a foundation of crime and greed. This is all encompassed in the story’s central theme, morality and the balance between light and dark. It’s a simple theme, yes, but one that the film explores thoroughly. The movie treads dangerous waters in its climax when its focus slips and it takes the theme into a supernatural realm, but it safely finds its way to the resolution.

Also, this movie really pulls at your heartstrings. And it has a perfect ending. Did I mention it looks gorgeous? I did?

God, I love this movie. I’m watching it again.

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Next, my life is consumed entirely by musical theatre. If I make it out of the show alive, I will rewatch and review My Neighbor Totoro. Wait, no, I will be watching and reviewing Oldboy. So.

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