Shoya Ishida starts bullying the new girl in class, Shoko Nishimiya, because she is deaf. But as the teasing continues, the rest of the class starts to turn on Shoya for his lack of compassion. When they leave elementary school, Shoko and Shoya do not speak to each other again... Until an older, wiser Shoya, tormented by his past behaviour, decides he must see Shoko once more. He wants to atone for his sins, but is it already too late...?
It was hard to feel sympathy for Shoya at first. He was a little kid true but his behavior was inexcusable. However, that said, you watch him change on screen to become a different, better person. One who realizes how awful he was and doesn't want to be like that anymore. I felt the first pangs for his character when I realized he was on a mission to make things right before he took what he thought was his only way out.
This story also twists the view we have of the victim. We all understand that the victim is not to blame for their actions, they are often portrayed as struggling through with the strength of conviction in their innocence, but not Shoko. In Shoko we can see her struggle is more in believing that it is not her fault, that she blames herself for being different, that she see's it as her fault for coming into their lives and upsetting the balance of things.
Its a story not only about seeking redemption, but learning to forgive yourself, to find strength in yourself, to become more than you were and to find who you are.
A Silent Voice is available from Amazon or is currently streaming on Netflix