Synopsis: “A peculiar girl transforms herself into a cat to catch crush’s attention. But before she realizes it, the line between human and animal starts to blur. ” (Netflix)
I watched this movie a month ago on Netflix and the experience was underwhelming. Spoilers ahead!
The memorable characters in this movie are: Hinode, his grandpa, Kinoko (Karou’s cat), Karou. (Miyo’s new step-mom), and her mom Miki.
Out of the two main leads, I enjoyed Hinode’s character than Miyo.
I was invested in his close relationship with his grandpa. Their interactions are one of the film’s highlights. Hinode’s interest in pottery reminded me of Whisper of the Heart where Seiji’s dream is to become a violin-maker. Both of their goals require hands-on work and are centered in the arts. In addition, I feel sympathy towards Hinode, it must be tiring having to deal with unwanted affection.
Kinoko is my favorite sidecharacter. I admire her loyalty to Karou. She just wants Karou to be happy. I’d want a cat like her.
The cat-mask seller and his masks bring up the cool idea of masks that turn people into full-fledged cats and vice-versa. He had this whimsical and mischievous behavior.
The cat world gave me flashblacks to Spirited Away since it gave off an otherworldly atmosphere.
The confession scene in the classroom was heart-wrenching and made me shed a tear.
#1 Miyo came off as unlikable. I found it awkward and embarrassing when she’d “butt-head” Hinode using her move “Hinode Sunrise”. It got old after the first couple times. Also, she can’t take “no” for an answer. She doesn’t notice that Hinode brushes off her advances showing his disinterest. She just tries harder to grab his attention.
I applaud her friend for calling out her behavior.
Miyo masquerades as a cat to Hinode just to get closer to him. That’s way beyond stalking and goes into infiltration The mask is used as a plot device and a means to an end.
Hinode’s anger is justified once he finds out the truth, Miyo lied and deceived him.
Although the cat Island is cool and amazing, the world itself is underdeveloped. I wish the movie focused more on this and the cats living there. It would be a fun shorts series, watching the backstories of these cats who were humans in a previous life.
Another plotline that needed expansion was the conflict between Miki and Karou. When did Miki first start to hold a vendetta against Karou? This would’ve made the film more entertaining.
I wanted to know more about Miyo’s relationship with her mother. Why did she choose to live with her dad and his new wife? What was her mom?
A Whisker Away is a stunning film with an intriguing premise. However the film’s story is underwhelming because much of the plotlines are underdeveloped and could’ve been further expanded upon. Especially, the Cat Island and Miyo’s parental figures. Hinode should’ve been the focus character instead of Miyo. His story was more engaging and interesting.