The Wind Rises (2013): A look at the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the man who designed Japanese fighter planes during World War II.
Okay, so let's start from the beginning. If you don't know who Hayao Miyazaki is, then you're just WRONG! He makes some of the most visually gorgeous movies ever conceived! That being said, The Wind Rises is no exception.
While most of his movies are highly fantastical in nature, delving into wild adventures on flying magical castles or perhaps trying to save your parents from a witch, The Wind Rises is a much more subdued film that he normally makes. Focusing on a Japanese engineer during WWII, the story chronicles his life from an ordinary student, to the man who eventually went on to design some of the best fighter jets in the world. More importantly it focuses on his relationship with the woman he loves, pulling ever so carefully at those heartstrings. Seriously though,TEARS, TEARS EVERYWHERE!
Things to notice, everything flies! Miyazaki has a few themes that he throws into just about every movie: strong female characters, spirits, saving the environment, and without fail flight. This movie is essentially an ode to his obsession with flight...and I'm not complaining. He uses flight to expand our imaginations and reach for the stars!
The film is amazing! While it does move a little too slowly for the younger children, and having just a couple ideas they wouldn't understand, it is a brilliant story. The slow pace is balanced out by some dream sequences that keep the attention of the younger audience. Not only is the story amazing, but, like any Miyazaki film, the animation is stunning! Absolutely gorgeous!
I would say the film is one of the most subtly beautiful films I have ever seen!
The Critique: Miyazaki is just about the most talented animator of all time, and this movie hangs in there with the rest of his films!
The Recommendation: While it does move at the slower pace, you catch yourself occasionally wishing everything would go on a bit faster. Aside from the early pacing of the story, the film is amazing and any fan of animation would love it!
Rewatchability: Moderately High, but only if you are prepared to cry
The Verdict: 8/10