Family Friendly Movies

Gorjia, aka Godzilla

Gojira (1954) starring  Akira Takarada, Momoko Kôchi, Akihiko Hirata

Synopsis of Gojira

When the ocean’s surface begins to boil white-hot and a Japanese freighter vanishes into the Pacific, the superstitious villagers of Odo Island fear an ancient legend has come true–the legend of Gojira! Awakened from an eons-long sleep by an atomic bomb explosion, the behemoth turns Tokyo into a wasteland of atomic fire and rubble.  Who, or what, can stop it?

Review of Gojira

Editor’s note: This review is for Gojira, the original Japanese Godzilla movie – not the Americanized version with Raymond Burr – that will be reviewed under Godzilla- King of the Monsters.

I’d like to contrast it with the Burr version.  In short, it’s a much tighter story, slowly moving from something causing destruction at sea, and on Odo island, until it’s finally seen about 25 minutes into the film.  Gojira is a devastating terror — a mobile natural disaster, that mankind’s technology is worthless against.  Gojira is a metaphor for the potential dangers of atomic radiation – but it’s more than that.  It’s a metaphor for humanity’s hopelessness, despite our hubris, against nature unbridled.

But Gojira is, at its’ heart, a story that deals with people.  Several protagonists, whom the audience comes to care for, and care about.  Three of whom are involved in a romantic triangle.

Characters in Gojira

In short, Gojira is a wonderful film that has aged well, with excellent moments large and small.  For example, there’s a moment as Gojira is rampaging through Tokyo, and a mother is cuddling with her daughters.  She comforts them by saying that, in a moment, they’ll be reunited with their father.  And they’re presumed to be killed.

Clearly, not a happy moment.  But a very serious one, that underscores the death and destruction throughout the movie.  And the human cost.  It’s not only the main characters that suffer and pay a price.  Gojira himself is dangerous, deadly, imposing.  And unstoppable.  Unless Serizawa’s mysterious invention can stop him …

I rate Gojira 5 stars, an A+.  I frankly can’t imagine how it could be improved.

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