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Moments - 05 - Garden of Words (Silence)

A moment of quiet.

By BoblobV2Published 3 years ago 3 min read

Garden of Words is a film that I have been fascinated by for a long time. It is a simple narrative about a high school student and an older woman that spends their mornings in the park when it is raining. They talk, and slowly develop a bond between them that actively helps the other in its own way. From a character perspective they are well realized, as from a relatability point of view, I have found that as I have gotten older the character that I relate to more has shifted from the teenager to the teacher.

What I would like to focus on is not either of the characters, or the narrative, instead it would be the moments of silence that are present through various intervals in the film. Segments where the characters are still, and not much else occurs from a narrative point of view. We get to linger with the characters for a moment as they simply are. I find these moments interesting because most other films would cut them out completely in favour of narrative and character progression. Which in terms of efficiency from a runtime point of view would be the best choice. However, considering this film is less than an hour long and still chose to have those moments, it displayed how much of a refined this was from Makoto Shinkai. There was a narrative that he wanted to present and presented it in the amount of time that was best.

This is a purely subjective account of why I like these slow, and quiet moments. As I have gotten older I have realized that what I enjoy more than most things in a narrative is when characters spend time together, either talking, or simply spending time together with nothing else happening. The reason why I enjoy these scenes is because, when executed well, it is a great way to show what the characters are like from a personality point of view. When combined with the writing and the performance within the scene, you would be able to glean quite a lot about the character’s personality.

The reason why the silent moments in Garden of Words stand out all the more is because, when combined with the characters, the atmosphere, the environment, and the sound design. It creates a meditative moment that is quite soothing to take in. One of the main reasons why it is so soothing is because of the immaculate sound design in this film. The sound of the rain, which is a major theme within the narrative plays a major part, and the fact that the sound of it is done as well as it is only goes to help the quality of the film. Following the sound design, it is the visuals, which are incredibly well detailed, so much so to the point that one could wonder why they go through the effort of recreating the environment in animation when they could film it in live action.

Both the visual presentation of the film, and the sound design help to immerse the viewer into the world. Combine this with the presence of the characters in the park, it creates a warm environment that is quite welcoming despite the fact that it is, in its presentation, quite a cold moment. In film language, rain is used to signify a low point in the narrative, or a cold and sad moment, however this film goes out of its way to present it in a way that is positive, while the sun and the days without rain are the ones that are low points in the narrative. This film uses the tropes and actively uses them in ways that are opposite to each other, and is executed very well.


About the Creator


Writing about anime, and anything else I find interesting.

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