Post #2: Narrative Traditions II

One short film that caught my attention was “She and Her Cat” by Makoto Shinkai. The movie follows the relationship between a woman and her cat from the animal’s perspective. Given its four minute run time, the story is simple but is explored in a unique fashion. We’re only given access to the cat’s thoughts and perceptions of what occurs around him. The limited scope makes exploring the narrative interesting as we’re never given all the details on the conflict that unfolds. An example of this is when the girl receives a phone call and becomes upset afterward. We don’t quite know what the subject of the conversation was or what exactly causes her to feel sad. We are only privy to the cat’s perspective on the event. In a way, this reminds me of Fargo as it takes a similar approach of deliberately leaving out information. It only includes what we need to know in order for the plot to make sense. For this short, I felt as though the creator left out the cause of the woman’s emotions because they don’t necessarily relate to the overarching storyline. In the end, the plot explores the relationship between the owner and her pet, so the backstory doesn’t feel needed. All that matters is the cat’s reaction to the woman’s feelings, not what actually happened to her.


I thought the events that led up to this moment were also well-placed. The relationship between the two cats at the beginning establishes how the main animal has feelings for their owner and is solely focused on that. By placing this early in the video, we know why the owner’s reactions to events matter so much to the cat. The film avoids the Aristotelian plot structure by building its outline around their relationship rather than a central conflict. Both the cat and the woman reach their own conclusions about life by the end of the video, which gives the movie its ending. Overall, I thought the film was a cute, wholesome way of exploring the relationship between humans and animals while illustrating how not every story should be told the same way.

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