Movie Review – Anima (2019)

TL;DR – A 15-minute musical experiment that smashes the music of  Thom Yorke with the sensibilities of Paul Thomas Anderson   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Anima (2019). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

This has been the year of the experimental music video/film hybrid, we have gotten the narrative version with Guava Island, the absurd with Bash Brothers, and the documentary hybrid with HΘMΣCΘMING. Well, today we continue this genre with a collaboration between director Paul Thomas Anderson noted for more visually stylistic films like Phantom Thread and Thom Yorke one of the main voices behind Radiohead. If you are a fan of Thom or Paul then I assume that combination instantly got your attention, and if you are not this is only 15 minutes so check it out anyway.

So to set the scene, we are on a train and a lady (Dajana Roncione) leaves her lunchbox behind and a man (Thom Yorke) takes it for himself only for things to get weird. Well, that is about it, as it is only 15 minutes there is not a whole lot more to say other than it is quite a ride.

The first thing I want to talk about is the choreography from Damien Jalet which is one of the three core things that makes this one of the most interesting things I have seen so far this year. There is a flow to the movement, but also a precision that is a really interesting blend. There is a lot of group performances that gives this an organic feel, but also the sharp movements are also otherworldly. Which does sort of fit the theme as anima is referring to the soul. To be honest, I am also always a sucker for the movement that lines up with the beat of the music.

Anima (2019). Image Credit: Netflix.
Thom Yorke brings this real energy to the proceedings. Image Credit: Netflix.

With the next facet are the visuals which have the visual style that comes from the people who worked on films like Okja and more, so that is one heck of a history to bring to bear. There is this interplay between light and shadows that draws you in as they play with it as it crosses the screen. To add to this they play with the lights in the scenery, making every set piece that much more interesting. The big set piece is exploring gravity with the camera being fixed in a way to hide the angle of the floor. At first, you are like, “why are they wearing those odd socks”, and then it all makes sense.

The final part of the trifecta is the music, and like all things, this is where it is going to be very subjective for people, but for me, it was spot on. I really love that interplay of the electronic and a strong beat. However, for me, there was also a lightness to it all that was really surprising. Thom Yorke who is the vocalist is also the lead character in the story giving it that extra level of weight.

In the end, do we recommend Anima? Yes, yes we do. Look what I would say is no matter what you have read here and how you react if you have access to Netflix I would completely recommend checking it out. Because if nothing else it is only 15 minutes, so if it does not jell with you it is only a 15-minute loss, but then if you do like it you will find it fascinating.                            

By Brian MacNamara: You can follow Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV, he’ll be talking about International Relations, or the Solar System.

Have you watched Anima?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
 


Credits –
All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Anima
Directed by
– Paul Thomas Anderson
Music by – Thom Yorke & Nigel Godrich
Cinematography by – Darius Khondji
Edited by – Andy Jurgensen
Production/Distribution Companies – Netflix
Starring
– Dajana Roncione & Thom Yorke
Rating – around an Australia: PG;

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