In an underground world where tunnels extend everywhere, even though they live in dark and confined spaces, people wear protective clothes and lead quiet and enjoyable lives. Patema, a princess in her underground village, loves to explore the tunnels. Her favorite place is a "danger zone" that her village prohibits people from entering. Even though she's scolded, Patema's curiosity can't be held back. No one ever explained what the supposed danger was. On her usual trip to the "danger zone," Patema faces unexpected events. When hidden secrets come to light, the story begins to unfold.
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★★★½ review by Thedude3445 on Letterboxd
A really cool really fun adventure with gravity and two distinct worlds coming together. The plot isn't necessarily that deep even with its twisty nature, but the worldbuilding is strong enough to support the idea of two closed-off civilizations adjusting to this post-apocalyptic world of weird gravity stuff. I also liked the main couple; it's rare in Japanese animation to see characters so physically intimate, but obviously the movie requires it.
Unfortunately the movie has about half the budget it needed to be something truly special. The animation is normally OK but nothing film-quality, and the use of CGI to skirt certain scenes and save money is often jarring. This may have been able to be a masterpiece-- it's far more imaginative and beautiful than its contemporary Children Who Chase Lost Voices-- but it got shafted by not being able to afford its own ambitions.
★★★★ review by Paul Robinson on Letterboxd
A stunning film of beautiful visual flare, it may flounder a little with regards to its story, and some choices for characters motivations and personality traits. But it is really enjoyable film and the central relationship is particularly satisfying as it never felt forced that these two characters would stay together for the sake of the story and that there was a connection between the two of them.
★★★★ review by KentheCritic on Letterboxd
An animation movie with an interesting premise and great story! First, I like the idea of how two different worlds exists, where one world’s gravity functions the opposite from the other world. Not a lot of movies have this type of setting (except for the movie called “Upside Down”, which is really boring in my opinion). With the story, the first half is sort of cliche: Boy meets a girl from another world, becomes friends, captured, saves her situation. We’ve all seen it before. But the second half of the movie blew my mind! (For which I will not spoil) Character development for the protagonists are clearly shown, something filmmakers can easily forget. Overall, it doesn’t just make a unique Sci-fi love story, but how it also illustrates the problems that lie between each world is amazing! And it doesn’t make the viewers forget about why they are watching this movie. The animation is done beautifully, especially with the scenes where they had a lot of the characters, buildings, and scenary upside down. It seemed like it logically and physically obeyed the laws of physics. The art for the scenery was gorgeous as well, with each detail focused at most.
The movie as a whole is wonderful. This movie reminded me again why Japan is outstanding for their animation. Their skills is something you cannot often find outside of Japan.
★★★½ review by Woodwatch on Letterboxd
Patema Inverted hat 2 ganz große Stärken.
Die größte Stärke ist das fantastische Setting. Durch ein missglücktes Experiment gibt es 2 Gruppen von Menschen. Sie unterscheiden sich dadurch das die Schwerkraft für die einen in die entgegen gesetzte Richtung funktioniert. Es ist einfach super interessant die Normen und Werte der jeweiligen Gruppen zu entdecke.
Die andere Stärke ist die grandiose Optik. Durch das Setting lassen sich fantastische Bilder erzeugen. Die Perspektive ändert sich ständig, so das der gesamte Film super dynamisch wirkt und es nie langweilig wird zuzusehen.
Leider hat der Film auch 2 Schwächen.
Die Story ist maximal durchschnitt, was um so trauriger ist wenn man überlegt was für ein potenzial in der Welt steckt. Ja an sich gehört das Setting auch mit zur Story, aber wenn man nur das nimmt, was die Charakter erleben, ist das doch etwas Flach. Außerdem gibt es hier und da 1 bis 2 Plot Holes über die man aber auch ganz gut hinweg sehen kann.
Die größte Schwäche des Films sind aber die Charaktere. Ich konnte zu keinem eine Bindung herstellen. Man hätte sich hier echt mehr Zeit nehmen können, da der Film mit seinen 99 Minuten einfach zu kurz wirkt. Die Charakterentwicklungen (wenn es denn welche gibt) passieren viel zu schnell und die Beziehung zwischen den beiden Hauptcharakteren war in meinen Augen leider total unglaubwürdig.
Ich hatte trotzdem enormen Spaß mit dem Film und würden Ihn auf jeden Fall weiter empfehlen. Ich finde nur das viel Potenzial verschenkt wurde.
★★★★ review by Leonora Anne on Letterboxd
Taking a high-concept premise and using it for an exciting and emotional adventure, Patema Inverted takes a risk that completely pays off by avoiding exposition or really any direct focus on the technical origins of the fantastical elements in the story. The visuals are absolutely outrageous, but they're always in service of either thrills, relationships, or both, which manages to simultaneously ground the film and make it feel intimate while also giving it an epic feeling and ensuring that it remains creative for most of the running time. This is probably the anime I've seen that most reminds me of blockbuster filmmaking, in definitely the best way possible. Despite the characters themselves staying pretty archetypal, this is a lively and highly enjoyable romp in an invented future that, due to the emphasis on putting the characters in tactile situations rather than exposition, feels more fully realized than I ever expected.
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