Jul 15, 2009
kurodayuchi (All reviews)
If you love me, will you kill me? I’m tired of this endless cycle…

The Sky Crawlers is a movie about genetically altered humans beings called Kildren (kill+children) who can never grow and are bound to endless aerial battles in an alternate historic period. This is a standard synopsis, the real one is that this is a story about meaning of the existence, wars, love, suicide, destiny, and emptiness.

It’s not a movie for general public taste; actually, most of people will probably want to give up on the movie before the first hour, since even though it’s a movie with war as a central subject and has some battles, the development is somewhat slow. The silence of their empty lives almost dominates the entire movie and the great moments are like slices of their lives; nothing really outstanding by an action point of view, but really deep in a psychological one.

Having said that, the visual effects are really something else. The air battles are truly well done, and the 3D effects catch the eyes. It’s a partnership between Warner Brothers and I.G., so this is not so surprising. Besides, it’s from the same director of the Ghost in the Shell movies. The OST is just beautiful. There are a lot of variations of the main theme, from piano to harp, and most of the songs are depressing. There are the ones fitted for battle, and the ones fitted for sadness.

As an adaptation of a novel, the development of the plot sometimes seems to have some flaws. As a matter of fact, the series’ author said that this was the most difficult of his works to adapt. But these “flaws” are almost part of the charm of the movie; you’ll receive some answers, but you will still wonder about a lot of unsettled things.

They don’t know who they’re fighting against nor why – a reflection about war itself. The main characters are just children, but they have to act like adults, and this paradox is explored all the time. They go to places like a brothel, but at the same time they like engaging in childish activity, such as playing with toys. All of them try to fill their emptiness with something: Yuichi Kannami, the main character, doesn’t even remember his past, so all he does is trying to comprehend why he’s there, their purpose. Kusanagi, a female commander, has a morbid point of view, always caring a gun to commit suicide or murder.

They kill in the air, but on earth they’re just like normal human beings - the sky is like a cage to these birds. If you have some patience to watch something that’s nothing like simple-minded, this movie is definitely going be a favorite.