I’ll be honest, sitting down to Gojira I didn’t expect it to be my cup of tea and had no idea of the parallels it would have to Japan and WWII. My expectations were low but in the end, I was surprised at how much I appreciated it. Having been to Japan and having a huge interest in their culture was the one thing drawing me to this movie and the knowledge I have on Japanese culture made me feel like I understood it a whole lot better. Having a Turkish background as well I can see some similarities between these cultures and this again helped me empathise with these characters even more.
I admit the special effects were a comical element at the beginning and it took time to not focus on it. In saying this there is a turning point in this film where you stop noticing the black and white and the subtitles and become really invested in the storyline. I think amongst our class this became evident and there was a shift from our tweets being humorous to drawing out the plot and message.
I have watched black and white films as well as films with subtitles however I can’t recall having watched a film with both elements together. While I find it more difficult to understand the tone in which dialogue is being said with subtitles I think it was pretty clear for most of the characters throughout (with the exception of Emiko… her emotions confused me more than anything else in the movie).
Having been to Hiroshima recently this film really reinforced how the Japanese people felt about nuclear weapons and World War 2 and demonstrated how raw these events were then and now. It went beyond just a giant lizard attacking people and I found myself getting really into the deeper plot line. For me, this film really voiced the things I had read and seen at Hiroshima. The scene in which a mother was holding her children waiting for death, tore me apart and paralleled the stories about Hiroshima I had heard.
All in all watching Gojira was an eye opening experience and has inspired me to watch more Japanese films. Despite my doubts I have to say it was a pretty great movie.