Review | Call Me Chihiro (ちひろさん)
“Call Me Chihiro is a beautiful and heartfelt slice of life about a character who changes people’s lives. At the same time, it is also a moving character study.”
Call Me Chihiro is a film based on the manga series Chihirosan by Hiroyuki Yasuda published from 2017 to 2018. The film is now streaming on Netflix.
This film tells the story of Chihiro, a former sex worker. She now works at the Noko Noko Bento shop in a seaside town. But she doesn’t try to hide her past. In fact, she is unapologetic about it. Chihiro is a character who brings joy to the people she meets, she comforts them. And she has a way of bringing them together. Have you ever met someone who has come into your life for a brief time and within that time changed your life? Chihiro is this type of person.
Moreover, as she meets people or reunites with old acquaintances, the story broadens and follows these characters too. We see the impact she has on their lives. There is a vast cast of characters. Indeed, there are two teenagers, a kid from elementary school, the shop’s owner, his blind wife, Chihiro’s former boss, a friend… This is a beautiful and heartfelt story. There is actually something so heartwarming to see it unfold.
Even though, Chihiro touches people’s lives, she is quite lonely. And despite being with surrounded with people and helping them, she doesn’t really help herself and still feels that loneliness. This slice of life is also an in-depth character study that is definitely worth watching. Finally, the ending just feels right, it comes full circle.
Furthermore, Kasumi Arimura delivers a poignant performance as the title character. She radiates energy while also giving a subtle twist to that, which allows the audience to see the loneliness of the character too. On top of that, Hana Toyoshima as Okaji and Tetta Shimada as Makoto are absolutely sweet. They have a siblings dynamic. Finally, Jun Fubuki is so soothing as Tae. She has an on-screen presence of a loving mother.
What’s more, Call Me Chihiro has simple visuals. There are no extravaganza. Indeed, it just depicts this seaside town on a natural light. It is so beautiful. This is what I love about small films like this one. They know how to make use of their surroundings. The sunset scene by the sea is really striking. The camera doesn’t move, it stays there as the characters talk. It transports you into that place.
In addition, Shigeru Kishida has composed a lovely score. Like the visuals, it is simple yet beautiful. In fact, the two work in harmony. Plus, Quruli sings the theme ‘Sun of Love.’ We can hear the song as the credits roll. And when you witness this ending, I feel like this is the right type of song to listen to. It delivers an hopeful message.
Call Me Chihiro is a beautiful and heartfelt slice of life about a character who changes people’s lives. At the same time, it is also a moving character study.
Call Me Chihiro starts streaming on Netflix today.
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