Jungle
Wolf Children

Wolf Children

Movie
Genre: 
On Blu-Ray: 
Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Grade:
A+
Running Time: 
117 Minutes
Even after an hour of contemplating what the right words would be to review this exceptional film I am still in the dark. I am reluctant to give the current crop of films starring moody teenagers and limp love stories a mention, but it has to be said that this is that formula set in a real world environment. A harsh look at the consequences of falling in love with a myth and all that progresses once the happily ever after has worn off. 
 
Hana, a 19 year old student, meets a mysterious man, who without much reason, she falls instantly in love with. After what seems like a brief period of an awkward courtship (or stalking file) the man reveals to Hana that he is, in loose terms, a wolfman. In the fashion of loving what lies beneath rather then on the surface, Hana remains in love with the man and hey have two children together. 
 
The brief romance between Hana and her lover is met with the silent picture fashion where emotions manifest themselves through moody music, long intimate stares, and picturesque locations where we see the couple simply living life. It’s this charm that gives the film its off blend of surreal magic before the backdrop of the real world. The two are so masterfully intertwined that disbelief is thrown out the window. Viewers are able to see and simply accept that there are wolfmen and wolf children living amongst us.
 
In what seemed like a brief few moments of magic it all comes to an end when tragedy strikes and Hana finds herself alone to raise to children, wolf children. 
 
If the film made disbelief irrelevant then you can believe that makes it doubly so here where Hana is forced to live the solitary life to avoid her children’s secret being revealed. The immersive quality of the film here is suffocating and stressful, but it’s then that Hana decides the only way for her children to be given the chance to choose their paths (either human or animal) she must move them to the country, away from the busy city life. 
 
In short, the film is absolutely amazing. When you’re sitting in a room filled with warm laughter, concerned silence, and the kind of joy that can usually only be brought on by friends and family, you know you’re watching something exceptional. 
 
PICTURE QUALITY:
Wolf Children was a bit of mixed bag where color was concerned. At times the picture can be awash with beautifully vivid imagery, such as the forest scenes, the dream sequence in a field of flowers, or the eyes of some characters. At other times the picture looks faded. Hana’s hair usually looks washed out with a bland sheen for example. Clothing has the same look as well. 
 
Where Wolf Children really shines is the detail in which everything appears. The interior of Hana’s rural home spread is amazingly detailed with mason jars filled with items, books lined up across shelves, even the detail of the floors, walls, and roof look amazingly detailed. There are scenes so amazingly life like you’d think they were real. Even some scenes; busy streets, passing cars, etc, look as if they had been created using Rotoscope, they were that fluid. In any case the film, aside form color use, looked remarkable. 
 
BONUS FEATURES:
~U.S. commentary
~Stage greetings
June 18, 2012 Japan premiere
June 25, 2012 World premiere in Paris
July 16, 2012 Theme song premiere
July 21, 2012 Opening day greetings
August 7, 2012 "Hana's Day"
~PR video Director’s Version 01-02
~Original trailer
~Original teaser
~U.S. trailer
~Trailers: I usually don’t find this section to be much for a bonus feature but was glad to have peeked in there to see the trailer for a series titled Sankarea: Complete Series which feels like a similar type of idea. I look forward to checking that one out. 
AJ Garcia
Review by AJ Garcia
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