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Fantasia 2016 Review: “Harmony” (2015) ★★★★★


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Would you ever choose happiness over truth? Or truth over the happiness? What is the real definition of life? Is it better to experience the taste of loss, pain, sickness, anger than just simply to be happy and never be able to see how your loved one looses their life to cancer or because of some other unfortunate things? “Harmony” directed by Michael Arias and Takashi Nakamura is an anime film that is able to fully answer the above questions. So, be prepared to see an absolutely highly philosophical film where the question of be or not to be has never been so relevant…

Tuan Kirie is Helix’s Senior Inspector who, thirteen years ago, failed to commit suicide while her soulmate and best friend, Miach had succeeded in it fully. Seemingly disagreeing with the heaven-like society where people are programmed to care about each other and mourn the death of even those who they never got a chance to meet in person, Tuan manages to trick an implanted system called WatchMe and pretends that she is fine with anything happening around. However, when a shocking amount of suicide occurs at the same time all over the world leaving a thousand of bodies everywhere, Miach is sent to investigate the matter. But it’s the outcome she is yet to be prepared to see…

“Harmony” in quite a strange but beautiful atmospheric way explains the meaning of WatchMe and why Tuan, MIach and their friend wanted to get rid of it. The thing is that this device is implanted to child at its birth and activates when a child becomes an adult. That means, from that moment on, a WatchMe system takes the freedom from people and controls their will and desires remotely. They no longer can choose what they want to eat, or how to spend their days… It’s the program that makes all decisions for them.

If you ask, what can be better than living in the world where there is no harm, terrorist attacks, diseases, cancers or some other dangerous things that can await ahead of us… But “Harmony” suggests that it has never been about happiness through happiness and our well beings… it’s about the happiness that you earn through pain and struggle… through love and disappointment. It’s about to be free who you want to be, and not what the society wants you to become. But through beautiful images, breathtaking photography and soulful soundtrack, “Harmony” easily advances in your eyes as you watch it, as you not only won’t find it boring, but extremely entertaining, educational, intelligent and worth seeing as many times as you wish.

In conclusion, “Harmony” has absolutely everything to earn your respect and more importantly – to draw your attention. The character development is superb. Despite it being an animated film, it looks extremely refreshing, imaginative, and the colors that will no doubt, delight your eyes. The subject matter it offers, as I have already mentioned is quite clever. It may sound complicated, but in the meantime, it’s appealing no matter from where you are. Japanese animes always bring something unique win their films. But with “Harmony” not only uniqueness, but a piece of thought you will find important to digest throughout the film.

 

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About Ulkar Alakbarova (1102 Articles)
My name is Ulkar Alakbarova. A wonderful name, is it not? I come from the exotic land of Azerbaijan but now I live in the hub of Hollywood North – Toronto, Canada. How lucky I am to be able to enjoy and indulge in my favourite avocation of watching movies. Movies of every genre are screened here in Toronto. There are black and white classics, avant garde, independently produced, and of course, newly released movies for all to enjoy. Let me share this treasure of entertainment with you. Read my thoughts and opinions then let me know if you agree.

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