Review of 'The Wind Rises (Kaze tachinu)'

the_wind_rises.jpg So, they say this is Miyazaki's (the godfather of modern Japanese animation) final movie but this has been said before. If it is, indeed, his last then there is no more fitting tribute that it be this magnificent piece of cinema. A children's film this is most definitely not with little ones likely to die of boredom ten minutes in but for the rest of us…

Jiro Horikoshi is a young Japanese man who dreams of nothing else but building airplanes. Taking place just before the start of the second world war his dream comes true as he is given a job at Mitsubishi to help design war aircraft. His serious demeanor means he is often ignored but his incredible talent and generous nature are always evident. When he saves the life of a young woman involved in a train accident (resulting from an incredible looking earthquake sequence) his heart is captured despite finding she has a life-threatening health problem. Will both of his passions survive?

This is a tale about love: A man who is passionate of his craft but also a man who is passionately in love with a woman. Miyazaki engages in occasional flights of fancy but these are most obviously dream sequences so this film, unlike many of his others, is very realistic. Often the pacing is slow with frequent scenes of Jiro looking wistfully off into the distance but I really got into that and just relaxed, slowed down and appreciated his thoughts and the absolutely gorgeously realized scenery he is admiring. The art here is magnificent with every one of the many, many, scenes beautiful in their detail and sensitive in their depiction of the moment. The characters talk very little but have very real motivations and issues.

I think you have put aside the reality of what is being depicted (the development of an aircraft that would result in many deaths) and listen to the story you will feel the passion - Witness the master at work. Amazing.

Rating: “I have absolutely no complaints”

Review Date: 2014-05-16

Directed by: Hayao Miyazaki

Studio: Studio Ghibli

Year: 2013

Length: 126 minutes

Genre: Japanese Animation

Other reviewed films by Hayao Miyazaki: