Ritual ★★★★★

pretty autobiographical to not only the film’s star ayako fujitani, but hideaki anno himself. there are clear parallels to how he views his work, and how he feels about himself here. the man here is almost a mirror of anno. a quiet man who once worked in the arts of animation turning over to do some live action pieces because it’s always what he wanted to do. it’s anno moving away from His and Her Circumstances due to the restrictions placed on him from the television company distributing the show. it’s his most personal work since Evangelion which he clearly dumped his heart and soul into creating something incredibly impactful and relatable. anno covers a lot of things in his work. what it means to live, what it means to be happy. how to be happy. can you be happy? can you fully live a life being completely happy? without distracting ourselves from our problems. can we? i mean thats kind of what ritual is talking about most of the time. how we distract ourselves, sometimes going to deep into our distractions creating a false sense of reality to comfort ourselves.

anno gives us a view of the month of 2 people. a director, and his subject; a girl. this girl interest him. he gives her flowers and a box of chocolates on her “birthday” despite the fact he met the woman a day before. he befriends the woman, becoming more interested in her as the days go on and on. he sees her long lasting manic episodes. seeing her not being able to sleep, seeing her quite literally on the edge. he’s there to help her, but at times he doesn’t know what to do. he cares about her, but he doesn’t know, because he hasn’t seen anything quite like it. he’s thrown off because the woman who he expected to save him he has to save. but he doesn’t mind, because he loves this girl, even though it has only been a month. but it’s this weird connection that he has with this girl. with the girl, and the camera he uses to communicate with her. he uses the camera to show that he is interested in her at the start, but in the end uses his words because maybe communicating is much more than just actions like he thinks. it’s talking, and understanding through that and words. it’s more than just his heart that make her feel okay, it’s his words. and it is the camera as well (not to discredit that at all, it basically makes the movie). 

the way film moves (fast paced and quickly edited) benefits the film’s calming and sometimes manic tone and script. it’s how the girl views her life. day after day, manically, tight, and scary. “whats gonna happen?” nobody knows. her home is large and full of random things. mannikins to shape the people who she isn’t close with anymore, if she ever was. the train tracks she sits on bringing her to a new place. from the pov of the man this is strange, weird, but interesting and wonderful. but it’s just the same thing for the girl. over and over again, she sees these things, and it’s like “cool”. it’s nothing new, it’s just another day. it’s only in the film’s last day, where it’s really a new day. where she has her hope, and she has her passion, and she has her motivation. she has her will to live and to see whats in the future. she can finally sleep without being scared. she finally knows that it’s okay to be alive. it’s her new ritual. its her goal everyday to make it the best. it’s going to be okay. she can live. 

i remember discovering this film early in the morning after being up for 24 hours straight because i used to do that all the time. i think i thought this was about a serial killer who fell in love with a girl lol. but yeah. this is a mess but whatever. this movie is great. perfect.

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