Patema Inverted is one of the movies that I was very much looking forward to and I haven’t been shy in seeking out promotional videos for this as well. The premise was so full of potential (if executed correctly) and I’m happy to report that this might be one of the future must-see films.
Another reason why I was looking forward to the film is that the director is Yasuhiro Yoshiura, who also directed Time Of Eve.
I have to say that as introductions to movies go, Patema Inverted has one of the best and sets the stage for the movie with a frightening and bleak sequence. After the chilling opening, we transition to a populated underground city and are introduced to Patema, a girl who has an interest in the outside world but is forbidden to go there. However her curiosity is too strong and she begins to wander through the rusty metallic halls outside the city. Suddenly, she sees an upside-down masked man (one of the “bat people”) who tries to kidnap her. As she finally gets away from this masked figure, she accidentally falls down the danger area hole. Thankfully, she wakes up alive and finds herself on a narrow cliff, close enough to fall into the unknown blue sky below, but finds her bag has got stuck on a gate.
Near the gate is a teenager named Age, a boy troubled by the accidental death of his father, and who’s been avoiding school. Strangely enough though, we see him living outside normally compared to the people of the underground city we saw earlier. It’s not long before Age notices Patema trying to get her bag, but in his view he sees her inverted.
I really liked Patema Inverted. It’s a film that uses the upside down effect to its advantage rather than using it as a gimmick; it’s really well implemented and another plus is that it tries to switch around some of the characters and how they look at this inverted world.
The premise of two characters meeting each other in strange circumstances is well done but wouldn’t carry the film on its own. The world Age lives in is basically a dictatorship led by a leader who brainwashes the students of his school, saying that the reason the world became inverted was due to religious reasons. The leader ends up becoming the antagonist but is probably the only thing I didn’t like about the movie, his motivations are convincing but most of the time, he comes off as a rather cartoony character.
As for the main characters, it took me a while to fully like Patema but there are some moments in the film that make her shine. As for Age he makes a surprisingly decent main male character. What I liked about him the most were his motivations and his willingness to help Patema in any way he can; their relationship becomes strong and believable as the film progresses.
The explanation as to what happened on this new earth, the climax of the movie, and the ending are fully explained and left me feeling satisfied and very happy with it.
Lastly, the animation is fantastic and takes full advantage of the Inverted viewpoint of characters. You can also see some of the remains of rusty satellites of the old world or the inverted dust of the underground danger zone; these little touches really do add to the film’s presentation.
Patema Inverted is one of the highlights of Scotland Loves Animation and delivers on its great premise in so many ways.