Godzilla Minus One (2024): Delivers what is expected from a Godzilla Franchise

Godzilla Minus One (2024): Delivers what is expected from a Godzilla Franchise

Too many Godzilla films have been made in the history of cinema across the world. However, it is believed that Hollywood and Japanese cinema contributed most to the franchise. Godzilla Minus One, an Oscar winner for best VFX, by Takashi Yamazaki, doesn’t offer anything new but still delivers what is expected of a monstrous Godzilla Film.

What’s fun if Godzilla is the centre of the film? Of course, it IS the centre of the film. But, what gives you scope to understand the time and people better is not the Godzilla. The story happens around the period of World War 2. Therefore, the inhuman consequences of war, unemployment, hunger, abandoned lives lingers over the story. This has humanised the story of the brutal monsters.

Shikishima, played by Ryunosuke Kamiki, has the perfect heroic arc. He plays a Kamikaze flyer, a traumatic war victim trapped in guilt and destroyed-to-ruins village in Japan filled with hunger and he is visited by the same Godzilla that gave him the trauma and the guilt. The story seems to follow all the screenwriting rules, especially ‘saving the cat’ rule, and follows the traditional character arcs– where everyone lives ‘happily ever after’. It’s alright to give a happy world to the characters at the end. Nothing to complain about, just an observation.

Godzilla Minus One is not an action packed film, if that is what you are expecting. The true action comes in three acts- the intro, the destructive power, the final destruction. Not packing with action gives the space for the film maker to add nuance to the characters. The two major people in Shikishima’s life are not blood-related, but war-related. The commentary on war and its violence is subtle.

Surprisingly, I didn’t find the monster to be scary at all. I found it cute and funny. The way it stood out of the ocean and its posture makes it look shorter. I don’t know, the Godzilla was funny and cute. However, the Music by Naoki Sato gives a thrill that monsters are supposed to give visually. That is why cinema works when felt at its best experience.

Overall, Godzilla Minus One delivers what it is supposedly promised through the historical legacy it holds, i.e gore-ish Godzilla fighting humans just to lose at the end.

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