The Wind Rises is a 2013 Japanese animated film about Jiro Horikoshi and his creation of the Japanese fighter plane, the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. The film is based on the autobiographical book by the same name. The film was directed by Hayao Miyazaki and released on 26 November 2013 in Japan.
Hayao Miyazaki’s latest work, The Wind Rises, held its premiere in Japan last spring, then was released in the U.S. as a limited theatrical release in late 2013. Hayao Miyazaki, who has become a cultural icon of sorts, has made a name for himself as a master animator, as well as a prolific director. Miyazaki has contributed to more than 40 animated feature films, an anime series, and five feature-length films (not to mention numerous short films). Miyazaki’s films have received numerous awards and nominations, bringing with them critical acclaim and a devoted following.
The Wind Rises is the second film by Japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, who is best known for his animated epic Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, released in 1984. The Wind Rises is his sixth animated feature film.
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“He said aircraft were beautiful dreams, therefore I’m going to build beautiful airplanes,” she says.
The Wind Rises is one of the latter Studio Ghibli films that I never watched for various reasons. This one has always piqued my interest since it is based on the real tale of Jiro Horikoshi, the engineer of the Mitsubishi A6M “Zero” fighter. The Wind Rises is also Hayao Miyazaki’s most recent major film, but he is working on a new one called How Do You Live? it’s in the works The Wind Rises continues Miyazaki’s obsession with flying in both practical and magical ways. The Caproni Ca.309, an Italian vessel made by Giovanni Battista Caproni, is the inspiration for Studio Ghibli. Caproni makes an appearance in Jiro’s dreams. Years before the release of this picture, Miyazaki created a manga called Jiro Horikoshi on the life of Jiro Horikoshi. The film borrows aspects of its plot from Hori Tatsuo’s 1937 book The Wind Has Risen, such as Jiro’s wife Naoko and her illness. Let’s take a closer look.
The Wind Rises chronicles Jiro Horikoshi’s life from childhood through marriage and the development of the aircraft that almost won WWII. Jiro tries to balance his personal life with the all-consuming art of aircraft design throughout the film. Jiro must avoid the secret police even when he meets the love of his life while also worried about her deteriorating health. Jiro realizes his goal of creating beautiful, functioning planes, but at what cost?
This film is engrossing. It’s meant to be experienced rather than seen, ideally in one sitting in a dark room. The Wind Rises delivers on the visual extravaganza that Studio Ghibli is known for. The image of aircraft flying over Jiro’s face is stunning, and the Japanese landscape seems to be genuine. The plants seem to be reachable through the screen, and the portrayal of aircraft in this film astounded me time and time again. Even though I have no interest in flying or airplanes, it’s difficult not to admire the meticulous precision and creativity needed to construct one. In addition, The Wind Rises takes its time in a manner that most animated films don’t have the time or money to accomplish. Slow realizations in which Jiro pauses to ponder or feel the breeze, dialogue-heavy design sessions, and a few quiet moments with Naoko all contribute to the creation of an unforgettable mood. Several moments in this film are carried entirely by the animation and soundtrack, which I like. In a manner that few films allow, the viewer is given the opportunity to breathe and absorb the environment and people.
The Wind Rises has a lot on its mind, as well. I’ve heard that the film condones the Japanese military’s atrocities during WWII, but I don’t think that’s entirely accurate. It also completely misses the point. This is one man’s viewpoint, and The Wind Rises does not teach the viewers how they should feel about war. Jiro, at least in the film, seems uninterested in the conflict or the ethics involved. He views himself as immune to all of this, free to construct aircraft as he pleases without regard for the repercussions. He even laughs about it, saying at a work meeting that the aircraft might be made lighter by removing the weapons, allowing them to fly the necessary distance. The Wind Rises isn’t so much endorsing the war as it is offering a unique take on it. Castorp is a German guy Jiro encounters at the hotel where he also meets Naoko and her father, and the scene with him is revealing. Castorp had a negative opinion of the Nazis and the Japanese Empire, viewing Hitler and his troops as bullies. He continues by saying that Germany and Japan would “burn.” We subsequently learn that Castorp is being pursued by the secret police, who are looking for Jiro in conjunction with him. Miyazaki’s films have always been anti-war, so accusing a picture with such a nuanced perspective on the topic of supporting violence strikes me as odd. The Wind Rises is a piece of art with a lot going on under the surface, which I believe will serve it well over time.
As usual, the English cast is wonderful, and I want to see The Wind Rises with subtitles the next time I see it. Joseph Gordon-Levitt voices Jiro, and I’m excited to hear him in another voice acting job. I adored him in Treasure Planet and have hoped for him to do more of this kind of work in the future. Emily Blunt and John Krasinski, who are married in real life, play Naoko and Jiro’s buddy Honjô. Mr. Kurokawa, Jiro’s irritable employer, is played by Martin Short, while Mr. Hattori, played by Mandy Patinkin, is a soothing presence. Kayo, Jiro’s feisty younger sister, is voiced by Mae Whitman (Avatar: The Last Airbender, Tinker Bell movies). Jiro’s idol Count Caproni, Castorp, and Naoko’s father are played by Stanley Tucci, Werner Herzog, and William H. Macy, respectively. Joe Hisaishi’s musical soundtrack for the picture demonstrates his immense skill once again. The Wind Rises’ soundtrack has an Italian flavor to it, which makes sense early on in the movie. Even when what we’re witnessing is on the more heartbreaking side of things, it’s vibrant and cheerful. In this way, it reminded me of Pixar’s Up, another excellent film with a memorable musical soundtrack.
I can’t believe it took me eight years to see The Wind Rises, but it won’t be long until I do. The Wind Rises is a visually and aurally stunning film from Studio Ghibli, but it’s also a profound reflection on a man’s life and work. I didn’t anticipate Jiro’s love story with Naoko when I saw The Wind Rises, but it’s one of the film’s most memorable elements. Jiro’s marriage, like his profession, begins as a fantasy but ends in disaster, leaving him with nothing but his thoughts and the wind.
Plot – 10
Acting (10 points)
10 – Music/Sound
Editing/Direction – 10
The Wind Rises is a visually stunning film that also explores a man’s life on his own terms.
After a brief hiatus, Christopher Nolan returns with his first film in four years. The Wind Rises is set in Japan during the second world war, following the life of Jiro Horikoshi.. Read more about the wind rises quotes and let us know what you think.
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