Your Name was a movie miracle. The film directed by Makoto Shinkai could have been unbalanced by a thousand different places, but in the end it’s one of those rare cases where you have to define what appears before your eyes as that elusive cinematic magic that many aspire to and only a few get.
Shinkai already had a good handful of feature films to his credit, but it was ‘Your Name’ that really made him known to a massive audience who now hoped that his new work would equal or even surpass the previous one.
In addition, ‘Time with You’ uses similar ingredients, but the mix is far from being at the same level as its predecessor, but the initial disappointment does not prevent us from seeing its virtues, which have them.
Below ‘Your Name
In ‘Time with you’, the idea of a romance between two young people previously unknown is once again played out, but here the element of science fiction takes on a mythological character that partially dilutes what should be a love story of rapture. During the first half of the film we see how the paths of Hodaka and Hina cross until we reach the great revelation that she has the capacity to alter time.
That’s when ‘Time with you’ should have influenced the progress of the relationship between the two, but instead she bets on a nice subplot in which she decides to rent her services to make those who want the sun to appear happy, even for a few minutes. That decision gives rise to some fun moments that work very well as a small island narrative but also ends up playing against the real interests of the film.
Already in ‘Your Name’ there were several scenes that would have thought of a lighter juvenile cut anime, but they were in their entirety during the first half hour of the film to get the empathy of the viewer with the two protagonists before beginning to reveal their letters and seduce us to bring us to the brink of tears.
There Shinkai achieved a perfect balance between form and background, as visually it was dazzling and had some moments that already occupy a privileged place in the history of cinema.
Visual beauty with narrative problems
For ‘El tiempo contigo’ he has once again opted for a visual finish that in no way detracts from that of ‘Your Name’, knowing when to enhance the most realistic touch of the film, that which allows him to give an extra touch of personality to his tapes, and when to let himself be carried away by the most fantastic aspect of the function as a reinforcement of what he is telling us. The downside is that he doesn’t have the right support for the love story between Hodaka and Hina to have everything he wants.
That’s why ‘Time with You’ is beginning to show its weaknesses as the minutes go by, reaching its peak in a final stretch where the drama comes to the fore, as the emotional intensity shown by Hodaka does not feel natural. It’s true that everyone reaches maturity in a different way, but the fact that the facts precipitate has a negative narrative effect that I think is partly due to the way the characters were approached until then.
Hodaka is the real protagonist of the function, a fact that has nothing negative in itself, since his arrival in Tokyo hostile to his interests is well executed, allowing us to know his state of mind in parallel to start getting to know the rest of the characters.
Where the thing fails is when it comes to delving deeper into Hina, since we never really get to know her and one is left wanting more, not necessarily about the origins of her powers, but the way she has to deal with that anomalous situation.
It’s not a frustrating situation, but in ‘Your Name’ it was something that was much better dealt with and helped bring the viewer to the edge of their armchair when the game with the different time slots came to the fore. Here we see magic in images but we never finish feeling it.
Time with you’ is an estimable proposal that, unfortunately, goes from more to less when the opposite should happen. Visually you have nothing to envy of ‘Your Name’, but it lacks the necessary background to really make the most of a love story along the lines of Shinkai’s previous works.