Seeing glimpses of Major Gilbert in the Violet Evergarden anime, I was a fan. He has wonderful attributes like patience, compassion, and the desire to teach Violet to read and write. He gives her a beautiful name. So I was surprised to watch the movie, and instead feel lukewarm towards him. I felt the strength of Claudia Hodgins. He is a man of integrity. He looked after Violet as a father figure, and helped her to adjust to her new life. He gave her a job and a home. Claudia enabled her to build her skillset and grow as a person. Granted, this was built on top of Major Gilbert’s foundation, but Claudia was the one who helped her wings to soar. And really the person who did the work was Violet, but they helped. I am impressed with Claudia Hodgins, and would love to meet someone like that in real life. The movie even made me feel like Dietfried, Major Gilbert’s brother, had some redeeming qualities and was trying to become a better person. That scene on the boat, when Violet grabbed a hat thinking it was Gilbert’s only to quickly drop it upon hearing it belonged to Dietfried, made me laugh. What book do you think she took from his collection? And what game? I was saddened Gilbert didn’t visit his Mother or attend her funeral. I can see how he felt guilty about Violet’a past and her injuries. Perhaps he also had PTSD. There was something about him in the movie that fell flat to me. I’m not sure what it was exactly. From online searches, it seems a lot of people recommend reading the light novel for a more accurate Gilbert portrait. I look forward to hearing other people’s thoughts. Violet was happy, so at least that.
It was fascinating seeing how technology impacted the business of letter writing and mail delivery. The idea of the postal museum was neat. I would’ve liked an update on everyone Violet worked with. We got to meet Ann’s granddaughter! She explored Violet’s past, as we followed along for the ride.
The young boy Violet helps at the hospital, really stole the show. He helped Violet have perspective and his circumstances urged her colleagues to act when she was unable to do so (you have to uphold a pinky promise!). And the first call Lucas ever made was to his friend at the hospital. That and the three letters were a beautiful testament to human connection and ways we uplift each other, even in times of sorrow. Violet is very astute in picking up the emotions of others. What used to be a challenge, is now second nature to her. She was able to help the boy at the hospital reveal his true feelings to connect with his family and dear friend. Everyone was sobbing in the theater. Like ugly crying. I knew I’d cry, so I had a box of kleenex. But certainly a worthwhile watch.