Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Colorful: The Motion Picture

Dealing with dying and death is something we all must do, but sometimes our own deaths seem easier to deal with than the deaths of others. I suppose that is one of the ironies of the concept of suicide. People who commit suicide are often considered selfish, but I personally find that concept laughable because people who choose to live are equally selfish. Dealing with death versus dealing with living is a tired debate for those dealing with depression and the ones who talk about it most are often the ones that understand depression the least. The dividing line, if there is one, comes down to the mindset of the one responsible for their own suicide.

That's something we can never really know, either. 

When Robin Williams passed away I really didn't comment on it because I didn't know how to do so. I don't judge people that choose to commit suicide as long as their methods of suicide do not involve inflicting violence on other people. I also think that people that commit suicide in such a fashion shouldn't further be punished by the concept of Hell. I don't think it is dishonorable behavior when a person suffering that much chooses the time of his "bleedin' demise."

It is sad, but it was his decision and I didn't speak a single bad word about Robin Williams like so many others did. People who did should be ashamed of themselves.

Living in Alabama all my life I can tell you that these views aren't very popular. 

In Colorful we are introduced to a 14 year old child who killed himself. His name was Kobayashi Makoto and he died from an overdose, but what caused him to take his own life?

In the afterlife there is a train station where souls of the recently departed get their ticket punched and pass through to be born again in some fashion. And no, this isn't the Christian reborn thing happening here. One particular soul is halted before it can pass through the gate and it is instead given a second chance at life. The soul must inhabit the body of Makoto just after he passes away and discover what led to Makoto's demise while simultaneously trying to discover the sins of its own former life. If this soul succeeds it will get a second chance at life, but will Makoto stay dead?

This is certainly a heavy movie, but the message in it is a bit of silver lining. The message is actually the title itself, but you have to watch the movie in order to understand the context. It's certainly not a fast-paced action movie. There are anime series that feature characters returning from the dead like Yu-Yu Hakusho that would better fit that bill, but Colorful is a quiet character study about a boy that didn't know how to live and a soul that didn't know how to live again.

It's plot is definitely fantastical, but it is portrayed with an outright realism and the background settings are top notch. I love rotoscope when it is used right.

This movie's subject matter isn't comfortable. Suicide makes people uncomfortable and understandably so, but this film isn't supposed to be a feel good journey. Bullying and prostitution are also topics that will come about in this film so make sure the young ones are put to bed when you watch this one. Unless you want to get asked, "Mommy, why is she going with that strange man to a hotel room?"

This film is about accepting humanity in all of its colors and it actually makes such a thing seem possible.

I can think of no higher reason for recommendation than that. It's a beautiful film with a beautiful message. I don't know if Robin Williams had seen it, but I wish he had if he hadn't. He probably still wouldn't be alive today, but who knows... Maybe he would be. It might not have made him happy and content with his life (no film or piece of media can do that... that is something that must come from within), but there's something to be said about a message that can help open the door to self-acceptance as well as the acceptance of others. Colorful has that message.

It is just a movie, but it has made me think a lot about my own circumstances in life. It's still worth living and my dreams are still worth having. I've been down some very dark roads of the mind before, but sunlight is always good to see and it is always there when I need it. I just have to look.

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