Thursday, 12 May 2016

I've Just Seen: The Wind Rises (2013)

The Wind Rises (2013)

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

I really love the worlds that Miyazaki creates in his anime films. They are so beautifully realised that I feel I could walk around in them, exploring the spaces which are a mixture of reality and fantasy. The Wind Rises is Miyazaki's last film, and while not his greatest, it does contain many of the themes he explored throughout his filmography, and feels like an appropriate swansong.

Studio Ghibli makes animation that is not easily classified as for adults or for children. Even in films like My Neighbour Totoro or Ponyo there are parts that would go over children's heads. The Wind Rises is a mature film, focusing on Jiro Horikoshi, a Japanese engineer of aircraft used during the Second World War. He grapples with the ethics of being a designer of these machines which are beautiful examples of aeronautical design, but are used to kill people. There is more romance in the film than other ones, complicated by the health of Jiro's sweetheart.

This is definitely a film for people who enjoyed Miyazaki's films, with their focus on nature, childhoods and innocence in the face of danger. I liked it, though I wish I had watched the Japanese language version; the English voice cast felt slightly wrong for their roles.

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