REVIEW: ‘Drifting Home’ Delivers An Emotional Journey

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Drifting Home- But Why Tho

Drifting Home is a fantasy adventure anime film produced by Studio Colorido. Kousoke and Natsume once lived in an old apartment complex. Now, the building is slated to be demolished. But before their former home is torn down, the duo, along with several of their friends, find themselves wandering the halls one last time. But when a freak storm engulfs the building, the children find themselves lost in a mysterious ocean with no clear way of getting home.

The key focus of Drifting Home is the emotional journey that its cast goes on. While stranded on their mysteriously floating apartment complex, several of the cast members are forced to confront their pasts or current struggles to allow themselves to move beyond the personal weights that are bearing down on them. While the key moments in these plot lines manage to hit hard at times, they are overwhelmed to an extent by the sheer volume of trouble that washes over the rest of the movie’s two-hour run time.

While the emotions are the core of this movie, far more time is spent seeing the building’s impromptu crew survive their strange voyage. With no knowledge of why they got to where they are, or how to undo it, the six kids spend much of the movie scavenging for food and struggling to survive storms. While the first two acts of the story pace these challenges with the emotional development that grows between the cast members pretty well, Drifting Home‘s final act sees the story capsize under the increasing deluge of challenges.

While I wanted to become lost in the threats that face the kids as their travels draw to a close, the piling up of one problem after another continued until eventually I was left feeling exhausted with the whole scenario. I wish the story could’ve let the emotional resolutions have their moment in the end and then simply wrap the whole story up 10-15 minutes earlier. It would’ve helped the final product significantly.

The other aspect that bears mentioning where Drifting Home‘s story is concerned is the why of it all. Or rather, the fact that the movie never actually gives any why to the viewer at all. There are a couple of possibilities that certainly feel more likely than others, but at the end of the day, there is no clear indicator of what prompted this fantastic journey in the first place or what causes it to come to its close. As a fantasy tale, I’m fine if the how is left obscured, magic and all that, but not having any indication of what prompted the event to occur in the first place leaves me feeling unsatisfied.

Perhaps the movie’s strongest element is how it depicts its stars, the children. While the kids manage to adapt to their startling situation well, the movie never forgets that they are, in fact, children and not tiny adults. When the emotions well up, the movie does a great job of allowing its cast to react to these traumatic situations with many of the trappings you’d expect of the young. This keeps even the brattiest of the bunch on a fairly sympathetic level since the situation would be a lot for emotionally mature adults to handle, let alone a group of scared kids.

Lastly, let’s talk about the visuals. Drifting Home frequently has a roughness to its look that I found quite fitting for the tale. With so much of the emotional exploration of its characters looking to the past, the roughness of the movie’s look gives the entire presentation an aged feeling that works well with its themes. It felt reminiscent of watching an old home movie.

Drifting Home delivers a strong cast and deep emotional moments, even if it leaves too many questions unanswered and gets a bit drawn out in its final act.

Drifting Home is streaming now on Netflix.


Drifting Home
  • 7/10
    Rating - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

Drifting Home delivers a strong cast and deep emotional moments, even if it leaves too many questions unanswered and gets a bit drawn out in its final act.

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