Silent Voice is a movie directed by Naoko Yamada and written by Reiko Yoshida . It is one of the most mature movies of the past decade , taking on themes such as suicide , depression , disability , social anxiety and redemption . In most basic sense the film with two main characters , namely Shoya Ishidia and Shoko Nishimiya tries to delve into the concept of cycle of hurt .
Be the person who breaks the cycle. If you were judged, choose understanding. If you were rejected, choose acceptance. If you were shamed, choose compassion. Be the person you needed when you were hurting, not the person who hurt you. Vow to be better than what broke you— to heal instead of becoming bitter so you can act from your heart, not your pain.Lori Deschene
The cycle of hurt can be described as passing forward the hurt you received. The film expertly manages to delve into the concept . Shoya Ishidia in his elementary school tries to bully Shoko Nishimiya , a deaf girl along with his classmates . This leads to lot of hurt , both physically and mentally happening to Shoko and her family . But once the elders got to know about the bullying , Ishidia being the main perpetrator is thrown under the bus by his classmates . This leads to him being ostracised and mentally depressed . Ishidia then tries to attempt suicide in order to escape from his traumas but this then mentally hurts his family and the cycle goes on .
The film makes you question if Ishidia deserves this. Yes, he was a bully, but he was also a child who still needed time to mature. Ishidia wasn’t granted the opportunity to learn from his mistakes and now five years later you wonder if the punishment is too great for him. You actually feel bad for the former oppressor because he’s obviously not the same person he was years ago and now wants to seek redemption . Ishidia was practically a villain at the start but turns into a calm and compassionate man . It’s a bold characterisation from the writers . We all have done mistakes in past that we repent today , and the creators chose to show the protagonist through the same lens .
The best part of the Silent Voice is that while presenting such mature concepts , the film never indulges in melodrama . It presents these themes authentically . It also presents bullying as a thing that builds up overtime rather than shoving in the locker on first day kind of scenario ( which is the generic cliche used in movies ).
Silent Voice also tackles mental illness of Ishidia in a unique way , by presenting people with X on their face . It is the creators way of showing how Ishidia felt deep within . How he , so used to being judged gave up looking people in the eye as a defence mechanism . He manually attempts to make less contact with people as his mind always rushes to make statement in his head that you don’t deserve this .
This film while presenting Ishidia’s redemption and Shoko’s retribution avoids the cliche and generics attached to its predecessors . It maintains a level of realness that is very relatable . And that makes this film exceptionally good and a recommended watch .