Her Story. Her Stage.
20171 h 15 min
Beginning on the eve of her thirtieth birthday, “Brave Enough,” documents violinist Lindsey Stirling over the past year as she comes to terms with the most challenging & traumatic events of her life. Through her art, she seeks to share a message of hope and courage and yet she must ask herself the question, “Am I Brave Enough?” Capturing her personal obstacles and breakthrough moments during the “Brave Enough,” tour, the film presents an intimate look at this one-of- a-kind artist and her spectacular live performances inspired by real-life heartbreak, joy, and love.
Brave Enough depicts the self-made career of the electro dancing violinist Lindsey Stirling. Whereas her book, The Only Pirate at the Party, was more about Lindsey’s childhood and how she got to where she is, Brave Enough focuses more on Lindsey today. The movie is a bit easier to understand if you already know a bit about her; there is only so much you can fit into a 70-minute film. Even if you go into this film blind, it is still a phenomenal story. The way that Lindsey has built herself up, how she always gets back up no matter how many times she falls down, is truly inspiring.
In her career, Lindsey has risked everything to succeed more than once. She played violin from the age of six and tried to find her way with general music. But when classical, country, and everything else did not work, she invented her own style. As a modern star, she was able to more or less make herself thanks to the digital age. Once her videos were on YouTube they went viral and started drawing a lot of attention. This, following her quarterfinalist status on America’s Got Talent, really threw her into the limelight.
But this was not an easy journey for her; she did not win America’s Got Talent and that devastated her at the time. You have to remember that she is a young woman and was even younger (23) when all this started. Throughout her musical career, and her life in general, she has had her share of hardship. She has battled against anorexia as well as the loss of her best friend and the loss of her father. Brave Enough shows there are days where Lindsey seems at a point where most other people would break, but she keeps going.
Throughout the film, Lindsey says that she is not a naturally brave person. The way she behaves is not instinct; it is how she has shaped herself. That resolve coupled with the help of her family and friends has helped her overcome every obstacle. She has transformed from a girl who looked lost and broken to a woman who is living her dreams. Life is not something that plays out perfectly but she has played it as masterfully as she plays the violin. As Lindsey herself puts it, “We can’t block ourselves from emotion. If you numb the bad, you numb the good.” She has followed that philosophy through and through because she has found the strength to be Brave Enough.
High schoolers Mitsuha and Taki are complete strangers living separate lives. But one night, they suddenly switch places. Mitsuha wakes up in Taki’s body, and he in hers. This bizarre occurrence continues to happen randomly, and the two must adjust their lives around each other.
Your Name is a stunning film that ranks with the works of companies like Disney and Studio Ghibli. To say that it is a love story would be like saying Saving Private Ryan is “just a war movie”. It is a coming of age story about how people grow and our experiences shape who we are, even as we get older and the memories of those experiences begin to fade. The film shows the raw power contained within human emotions and how that power can overcome the passing of time. Your Name has the ability to captivate any audience, leaving you gripping the edge of your seat.
A summary of the movie might make it the story seem basic, yet it is anything but that. The movie is not action packed but the empathy you feel for the characters will keep your heart pounding. It is the relationship between the two main characters that drives the film but that branches out into so much more. There are very real stakes for both characters and the people around them. The story begins with what could be anything from a mysterious accident to an unexplained act of fate. Your Name plays itself out well with a mix of romance, comedy, drama, and more.
Many anime films, and anime in general, are defined by fantasy elements. The otherworldly creatures in Spirited Away, the titular Castle in the Sky, and so on and so forth. Most of the time these are grandiose, powerful elements that directly shape the story. While there is a fantasy element in Your Name, it is the story’s catalyst rather than its driving force. It is subtle enough that the story feels very close to reality. This is not something that could actually happen, but events such as these can occur. Life can end beautifully or tragically, with any mix of emotions along the way.
Saying that Your Name is one of the greatest films to date is no exaggeration. Not just one of the greatest anime films or family films, but one of the greatest films overall. From the storytelling itself to the characters, musical score, and artwork, Your Name is pieced together perfectly. The emotions here are real and viewers will not be sure how the film will end. It may be a family film, but the ending you expect may not play out like you would imagine. Your Name is truly nothing short of magnificent.