君の名は。Kimi no Na wa. Your name (2016)
Aside from the emotional impact and the intriguing plot, I find the relationship between Taki Tachibana (立花 瀧 Tachibana Taki) / Mitsuha Miyamizu (宮水 三葉 Miyamizu Mitsuha) and Miki Okudera (奥寺 ミキ Okudera Miki) equally riveting.
It was when Mitsuha was inside Taki's body that Miki started to be touched by the tenderness inside Taki, and grew fond of him. But technically it was Mitsuha inside Taki that she fell for, with all the characteristics primarily associated with the female sex. In a similar fashion, Taki made Mitsuha popular at school by injecting into her the qualities traditionally associated with men, such as courage and strength. That could be a lesson to take away. It increases your chances to get a date by possessing some qualities that you competitors were not brought up (or encouraged) to possess.
Then again, a bigger lesson could be the whole barrier of socially assigned characteristics be brought down for both sexes and let everyone be free to explore and express his or her whole spectrum of characteristics. Miki Okudera (奥寺 ミキ Okudera Miki) would be immensely grateful to say the least.
Back to this film, I could see why all the popular acclaims it met with. As a product designed for mass appeal, it mystifies its audience by intermeshing all the strands of captivating elements, such as fate and destiny, parallel timelines and time-travel (to alter fate), ancient traditions and a higher power. In that sense, one could say that the film is indeed mesmerizing and enchanting, with all its beautiful drawings and tuneful melodies. However, it leaves no further room for contemplation after leaving its audience overcome with intense raw emotions. And when strong emotions are not backed by strong convictions, they will gradually give way to feelings of bewilderment. That was how I felt after the viewing. I became aware that my emotions were being harnessed, and they were not the same kind of emotions evoked as when you were guided to encounter them by yourself, which would be a more meaningful journey. The main characters in The Straight Story (1999), A Very Long Engagement (2004), and even Nebraska (2013) would leave you with no less powerful emotions but long-lasting impressions. Good films have the capacity to inspire faith and strength in their audience, rather than making them succumb to emotions.