This movie is not a lark.
It’s Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Tohoku earthquake and tsunami, and Fukushima. It’s a rigid cultural bureaucracy splintering into a thousand pieces. It’s a near century of living under the shadow of foreign hegemony.
It might be the most incredible movie I’ve ever seen in the theater.
I loved Canelli’s “perfect ratio of paperwork to action as the film’s narrative thrust” line in his post yesterday, because that is indeed how I tried to sell it to him.* But the truth is, in that moment, after having just seen it, I didn’t quite know how best to communicate this movie’s awesome** subtext, meaning, and metaphor. Godzilla, the guy in the rubber suit, is used so sparingly throughout this movie that when he finally does freak-the-fuck-out, it feels more like the finger of God vindictively flicking away a million voices screaming out at once “why do blindly catastrophic and terrible things happen to good people?”
People, this movie is an emotionally and metaphorically intense movie. It should be shown in high school US history courses when the “and this is how we ended WWII” class happens so that students know how, after nearly a century of accumulation, national and cultural pain expresses itself in a people’s art.
* “Remember my complaint about true detective season 2 where there wasn’t enough paperwork? That’s 75% of this movie, and its fucking ENTHRALLING.”
** As in the biblical “awesome”, the kind of awesome Moses felt in front of the burning bush: great admiration, apprehension, and fear.