A Tree of Palme is from the same director as Fantastic Children, so yes, I was eager to watch this movie. Don’t be fooled by the childish character-designs, because just like Fantastic Children, A Tree of Palme is a dark and twisted story. Unfortunately, I’m missing the same brilliance.
Don’t get me wrong, A Tree of Palme is a good movie. The first half is absolutely stunning and imaginative. Seeing the nervous wrecks of the two main characters was a delight, and both of them are fleshed out really well. Palme’s desires become gut-wrenching at one point. But yeah, I wish I could say the same about the second half…
In the end, this just turned into one of these movies which are just too short for their own stories, and this becomes all too apparent in the second half. The biggest problem is that the character-development feels really awkward. Okay, I know that Palme is a puppet and there were actually some reasons given for his strange behaviour, but even that was really pushing my suspense of disbelief, and I haven’t started talking about the other characters yet. One time, a character scared to death, and a moment later she’s happy and acts like nothing ever happened. The plot also has its issues, and huge holes start to appear as the movie goes on that are never cleared up. It feels like entire scenes have been lost on the cutting-room floor.
It’s a shame, A Tree of Palme definitely had the potential, as shown by the first half. But the creators really needed to put some of the subtlety of Arete Hime in this movie. It’s like I said in my Mahou Tsukai Tai-review: a movie has a very limited amount of time to tell its story, but if it knows how to build up properly, it’ll turn into something memorable. A Tree of Palme just didn’t have what it takes to really stand out from all the other movies. It’s a good watch, but not a great one.