Wolf Children (2012)

By far, one of the best films that I’ve watched. It simply outdoes itself in its depiction of real life characters in difficult settings.

Some people may not like the Mother character due to potential perceptions that she’s a mary sue, but I could see real life cases of mother’s acting in such a happy-go-lucky manner. Part of her character is smiling and pretending to always be happy, despite difficulty. And constantly taking degrading remarks from elders could be seen as a form of what it takes to be a good parent. As sad as that sounds, it’s likely true for women who live in lower income environments. Although, I base that upon what my own mother had to go through and stories I hear of other people’s mothers who grew up in similar environments.

This film is chiefly about motherhood; the difficulties, the issues of never knowing enough to try to ameliorate the problems for one’s children, finding – often physically laboring – to create the perfect environment for them to grow up, finding the right community, teaching children to keep some of the more rambunctious behavior to themselves, and eventually accepting that your child will grow up faster than you think; to move on to other perspectives and worldviews that are beyond your control and part of your child growing into adulthood.

It’s both a bittersweet and happy resolution at the same time. That is what makes the ending of the film so satisfactory. The mother watches how, right before her eyes, her children grow and move on before she realizes it. Thus making all of the hard labor, constant research, and single-minded effort on her part worthwhile.

The film’s lengthy introduction, depicting how she met her boyfriend/husband (the film leaves it to interpretation) and their relationship before the story progresses depicts a fairly realistic response to the shock of falling in love with a wolf man. What I particularly liked was how the mother reaps the benefits of her own effort and intellectual prowess, physically building her own happiness and nurturing environment for her children without much help in the beginning, before befriending the community and building helpful relationships.

The shy, awkward, and arguably unsatisfactory (for the mother) conclusion of her relationship with her children as she is always smiling even when in emotional pain does have a sense of realism to it. Some children, especially introverts, can be awkward and rush into leaving due to not knowing what to say as they move on to their new lives. It’s bittersweet and arguably tragic, but it’s very real and very human.

To conclude, this is quite a satisfying film. I’m hesitant to give it too large of a score due to my obvious bias so I’ll give it a score of 8.9/10.

Great film, it is definitely worth watching.

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