Now that I’ve slept on it, I think I’m able to look at Your Name. a little more rationally (and less rant-y).
In case it wasn’t clear in my post last night (and honestly, I’m not sure if it was), the most heartbreaking part of the film is the uncertainty that the two protagonists will meet and stay together. This is despite the unique and incredible chemistry the two have, despite meeting across time during twilight, and despite successfully averting the death of Itomori’s citizens. Frankly, it’s quite tragic. The ease of how each person’s memories slip away like dreams is cruel, and we as the audience are left wondering if both of their experiences were real, or if they will ever remember.
Personally, I’m not a huge fan of memory loss stories, especially if it happens to be a story’s conclusion. I tend to associate and empathize with protagonists a lot, so if a story ends with memory loss it breaks my flow and distances me from the writing. Besides that, memory loss makes the entire story feel like an enormous waste of time.
Granted, one of the central themes is the elusiveness of dreams and the inability to hold onto specific details. With the body switching only happening after going to sleep, this allows the movie to use the mechanics and characteristics of dreaming to advance its story, and, unfortunately, it makes logical sense for these memories to slip away at its conclusion – at the end of the dream.
I’m not sure I can ever fully accept that. Artemis Fowl left me in a similar way with its very open-ended conclusion, and I’ve never been truly satisfied. Now, I’m hit with a wave of sadness every time I think about Your Name. and the events that transpired. At any rate, this feeling will eventually pass. It’ll soon become another memory, and someday I’ll be mentally and emotionally repaired enough to watch the film again.