Millennium Actress User Reviews

Millennium Actress is an anime movie in the Millenium Actress Franchise
Write a Review 1 user review Average score of 10 / 10 for Millennium Actress
My All-Time Favorite Satoshi Kon Work Reviewed by Dream on May 10, 2009. Dream has written 157 reviews. His/her last review was for Parasyte -the maxim-. 317 out of 332 users recommend his reviews. 2 out of 2 users found this review helpful.
This movie was both moving and mesmerizing for me. It was moving from the drama of seeing Chiyoko hold on to the hope of meeting up with the man she met in her younger days and mesmerizing from the various transitions of scenery that Millennium Actress puts the viewers through. Before this review, this was the only Satoshi Kon movie I had yet to see. Now after watching it, I think I like this more than Perfect Blue now.

The story aspect of this movie comes from Tachibana's interviewing of Chiyoko for a documentary film. Being alive for over 70 years, the woman lived through the major events and pressures that took place in her younger days. The man she grew to love was a painter affiliated with rebels opposed to the fascist Japanese government before and during World War II. The societal expectations of women from the period were even brought up as Chiyoko dealt with her family and those trying to persuade her to give up on the painter. The fact Japan is even prone to frequent earthquakes is also commonplace in Chiyoko's life further adding to the realism of this movie. As the movie progresses, we learn what eventually happened with the painter Chiyoko met and even past connections Tachibana had with her.

What makes the story aspect work for Millennium Actress is the scenery transitions. As Chiyoko told her story in the present, scenes would change over to scenes that took place from one of Chiyoko's films and this is where the film's title gets it's name. From sword fighting in the Sengoku era to a post-apocalyptic future, each of these transitions have scenarios quite similar to Chiyoko's pursuit of finding the whereabouts of the painter giving a unique approach to the storytelling in this movie. Further adding to the transitions are the presence of Tachibana and his cameraman from the present. This adds some humor to provide some brief breaks from the drama of this movie as the cameraman is dumbfounded over where he is and Tachibana is in the position of giddy movie fan as he saves Chiyoko from any danger she faces in each movie scene that Millennium Actress switches over to. The fact Tachibana and the cameraman are a part of these experiences adds on a "story within a story" approach to this movie.

In terms of visuals, they have the usual realism that are found in Satoshi Kon's films: plenty of detail with character designs and scenery with no rough lines and plenty of color. Music fits well with the mood of the movie. But as Devil Doll explained, it isn't up to the caliber of other aspects to this movie.

With its visual storytelling and potent drama, Millennium Actress is the best of Satoshi Kon's films. It is well worth your time and money to get on DVD if you ever find it in stores.
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