Monday, August 24, 2020

The Travelling Cat Chronicles / 旅猫リポート - 2020 Fantasia Movie Review

The Movie: The Travelling Cat Chronicles / 旅猫リポート

The Director: Kôichirô Miki

The Cast: Sôta Fukushi, Yuko Takeuchi, Alice Hirose, Takurô Ôno, Ryôsuke Yamamoto, Tomoya Maeno, Yûko Takeuchi

The Story: A young man takes a road trip visiting old friends in hopes that one of them will be able to adopt his cat. They both quickly learn that this will be no easy task.

The Review:
So, maybe I shouldn't have watched this movie so soon after losing my cat. The entire movie was one emotional gut punch after another and, by the time it was over, I was about as emotionally exhausted as one could be. That being said, I love the movie. The story is beautiful in how it deals with death in several different ways and also finds a really fun way to show the relationships people have with their pets and how much we really need them in our lives.

A movie about death may sound very morbid and dreary yet the movie is actually very upbeat and has a very whimsical tone that really matches the personalities of the lead character Satoru, played by Sôta Fukushi, and his cat Nana, voiced by Mitsuki Takahata. Satoru is about as likable of a young man as you will ever find and, as the movie progresses, we learn who he is and what his journey is all about. Nana is also very liable although in a more sassy and protective sort of way which comes across perfectly thanks to Mitsuki Takahata's voice work. There is a true bond between the two and a love that is only known between a pet and its owner.

There are a lot of twists and turns to the story including several major reveals and I don't want to spoil any of it for you, just be prepared for some serious emotional hits over the course of the movie and all the way to the end. It's interesting getting to see Satoru as a young boy, as a teenager, and as a young adult through an inventive bit of story telling that has him crossing paths with old friends and recounting stories of their earlier days.

I really can't say enough about how much I loved this movie even though it was also painful to watch having recently lost my own cat. Any cat lover will fall in love with this movie, the story, and the characters, the whole thing is pretty hard to resist. Oh and I also have to give special credit to Hiro Arikawa who wrote the popular book this movie is based on.

The Verdict: 
The Travelling Cat Chronicles is a movie any cat lover should watch or just anyone for that matter. This is a very entertaining story of friendship, a very emotional story of loss and of family, and it is also a very uplifting story about the impact we have on those we care about and the legacy we leave behind.

The Travelling Cat Chronicles is an official selection of the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival.

To see more reviews, interviews, and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at Fantasia 2020

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