Violet Evergarden: The Movie Review

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I have to personally give this film a 7/10. It's still far better than average, but the ending misses the mark entirely for me. I will state my reasons below, first in a spoiler-free section & then in a spoiler section.Before I begin, full disclaimer that I have NOT read the novel, và so the source of my complaint is not "it is different from the original so it sux0rZ!!1!". I am simply giving my thoughts on the story progression và why I was so let down.Spoiler-free section:First, let me start off by saying that I loved a lot about this movie. The voice-acting was ... On-point, not just from Violet's actress, but also her quái thú Hodgins, and even side characters they introduce as one-offs in the movie. No complaints whatsoever about any of the performances. The animation was the usual golden standard from Kyoto Animation - breathtaking at parts, và exactly what we've come khổng lồ expect over the years. The soundtrack is no slouch, either. The orchestra works well as it has done in the TV series & previous "Gaiden" movie, & the ending tuy nhiên from True fits very well within the film's atmosphere và emotions.So, if all those elements were perfect or near-perfect, what kept the movie from the perfect 10/10, or even a 9 or 8 for me? 2 words: "the ending" - arguably the most important part of any story that seeks to be emotionally satisfying. The last trăng tròn minutes of the film were extremely underwhelming for me, try as the film did to make me emotionally satisfied with the conclusion lớn Violet's story. Now I can't go into the details without spoilers, but suffice it to lớn say that, speaking for myself, I saw it as a disappointing kết thúc to Violet's character arc. Not only was it wholly predictable, leaning on some of the most cliche tropes used in media, but it also (in my personal opinion) betrayed a lot of the character development & buildup for Violet throughout the anime series. I found myself thinking, "oh god, they're not going in that direction, are they?" right before the climax of the film, but lo and behold, they went in that direction.Well, now that I've outlined my big complaint without spoilers, I'll get into the meat of it.---SPOILERS SECTION---Throughout the anime series, Violet learns through her chosen profession what it means lớn be independent, what it means khổng lồ feel, what it means to love. Violet started out as a robotic, emotionally damaged literal doll who could not function without orders from a superior officer. Throughout her encounters across the land writing letters for various clients, each with their own story arc, & interacting with the supporting cast at her workplace, Violets learns to think for herself, to act on her own desires, and, slowly but surely, understand what it means to feel "love."Now, some people may argue that this was all leading up to Violet reuniting with Gilbert, telling him "I love you," and living happily ever after with her former commanding officer-turned-lover. & those people will find this fairy tale ending perfectly satisfying - the ship is complete. Nothing more lớn say.But thinking back on the TV series, I can't help but question, "Really, is that all it was this whole time? A long, roundabout romance story?" Because if that's all this was, then I must say that I've given more credit to lớn the emotional maturity of this series than I should have. Forgive me if I sound harsh, but I think I've spend way too much time with Violet on her journey, looking on as if I was growing và maturing with an old friend, to simply be given an "and they lived happily ever after" ending, with no strings attached, complete with the "dash to lớn the port/airport" cliche và the "jump off the boat to rush to lớn shore & embrace lover" cliche.Even if it is implied that Violet has grown as a person and changed from the Violet who fought under Gilbert out of dependency khổng lồ a Violet who chooses lớn be with Gilbert out of love, it still makes her character completely revolve around one person, and boils her storyline down to lớn "girl reunites with boy after being separated after war."Gilbert understood that Violet would again dedicate everything khổng lồ her old master if he returned lớn her life, và that's why he hid out in the middle of nowhere all this time. So why, after sticking lớn this decision for years, did he have a change of heart in one moment with just one letter? Was he that fickle? Did he not think things through when he decided lớn play dead? Was he just horny? It just doesn't make any sense.And we are led to lớn believe that Violet grew old and died peacefully with the same man who she had supposedly become independent from, who supposedly was no longer the sole thing about which her world revolved? The ending just becomes a more emotionally unsatisfying mess the more I think about it. It's as if the director/writer said, "Look, I know Violet has matured a lot over the years, but she needs a happily-ever-after ending with Gilbert no matter what happened in between. That's what the audiences want và expect, so that's what we'll give them. Oh, & let's throw in a scene of Violet bawling her eyes out while hugging Gilbert in there so the audience will feel happy for her."I'm going khổng lồ stop here before it becomes a rant, but needless to say, if the ending had been more nuanced, less cliched, and given Violet (and the audience) more credit, I think the movie could have been a perfect 10/10. But as is, I cannot, because the straightforward ending simply did not live up lớn the unique of everything that came before. Still a solid movie besides the ending, so 7/10 overall.
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