The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises

(Kaze tachinu)
(2013)

Animated drama from Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away) – the ‘farewell masterpiece’ from Japanese filmmaking legend Hayao Miyazaki – set in Japan during World War II, exploring the life of fighter plane designer Jiro Horikoshi. The English-language voice cast includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci and John Krasinski. Nominated for the Golden Lion at Venice Film Festival 2013 and Best Animated Feature at the 2014 Academy Awards.... More

Jiro (Gordon-Levitt) dreams of flying and designing beautiful airplanes, inspired by the famous Italian aeronautical designer Caproni (Tucci). Nearsighted from a young age and unable to be a pilot, Jiro joins a major Japanese engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world’s most innovative and accomplished airplane designers, earning the respect of prominent industry greats. As Jiro goes through key historical events – including the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan’s plunge into war – he meets and falls in love with Nahoko (Blunt), and cherishes his friendship with his colleague Honjo (Krasinski).Hide

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Flicks Review

The supposed ‘farewell masterpiece’ from Hayao Miyazaki, the current grandmaster of Japanese animation, puts on a straight face for this visually gorgeous tribute to Jiro Horikoshi. Jiro's dream of making flying machines is made open to him by the most unfortunate of circumstances – World War II. In what can be seen as a preventative measure of the history books painting him as strictly a War Engineer, Studio Ghibli paint Jiro as a man passionate and devoted to his craft, loading every second scene with a dream sequence full of wondrous whimsy akin to My Neighbour Totoro (just sub the cat-bus for a massive plane). This passion and relentless devotion went hand-in-hand (in one scene, literally) to his romantic affair with Nahoko – whose meet-cute involves a train ride and a massive earthquake.... More

As expected from Studio Ghibli, the painted backdrops do wonders for recreating and romanticising old world Japan. On the flipside, the film also doesn’t shy away from detailing the tragedy of the period, though it won’t have you crying yourself to sleep like the beautifully agonising Grave of the Fireflies. Side characters also become resoundingly distinct through Ghibli’s animation – from a steely-eyed German with a bolted-on smile to the stumpy hard-ass boss whose hair flops like a bat when he walks. But as bright and cartoonish as it may appear, this is first and foremost an historical drama – and a rather interesting one at that.

However, it should be noted that I saw the English-dubbed version of The Wind Rises, casting a rather sleepy-sounding Joseph Gordon-Levitt as the voice of Jiro (his only other feature voice credit being 2002’s Treasure Planet). Jiro is already a mild-mannered gent whose passive demeanour doesn’t offer much depth, but with Go-Lev’s noticeable lack of vocal energy, it almost renders the character one-dimensional. If you’re fine with subtitles, I’d suggest watching The Wind Rises with the Japanese audio track instead. Hopefully that version doesn’t include the distractingly odd a cappella sound effects.Hide


The Peoples' Reviews

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BY Gaspardation superstar

I'm disappointed by Hayao Miyazaki's latest work. It's narrative is too flat. Not to mention it cuts the film into halves on love and dream. By putting those separate pieces together doesn't make a complete story.


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88% of critics recommend.
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