If you loved Hayao Miyazaki movies than you must watch The Wind Rises. This movie has that magical charm that Miyazaki films have while bringing something different than his previous films.
The problem with reviewing a movie like this is this was made specifically for his fans. It is like how Toy Story 3 was a lot more meaningful for those of us that watched Toy Story. I honestly don’t even know how to explain this movie to someone that hasn’t seen a Miyazaki film before.
Miyazaki fans will find a lot to like though since it has all of the charm and beauty still intact. As a final farewell piece it does a great job of telling an interesting journey that emotionally connects you with someone that is following his dream. I couldn’t help but feel that there was a little of himself in this story.
The story is told in historic Japan in the early 20th century telling the life of Jiro Horikoshi and his dream to build planes. This makes for a much more realistic setting compared to his previous stories. Fantasy is still being used though just in a different and creative way that matches the more real setting.
This is one serious movie that address some very mature themes. While previous Miyazaki films have been great at creating emotional moments they have generally been optimistic. Jiro’s story is during a very turbulent time for Japan as it is trying to find its place in the world eventually at a horrible cost.
The story tries to tell you a journey of a man trying to achieve his dream. There won’t be major twists or amazing action sequences. What you will get is a connection with a character that you will care about. I will admit that I cried during a scene in the movie.
Animation is creative and lovely as you can expect from a Studio Ghibli film. I was impressed that even when placed in a realistic setting how he could still add that Miyazaki flavor that many of us have grown to love. The set pieces are beautiful and the character models look great.
The music is beautiful and matches perfectly with the scenes. Some scenes let you take in the beautiful art set pieces and will have a long sequence to let you just appreciate the moment. Since I watched it in Japanese I cannot talk too much about the voice acting other than it sounded good.
Miyazaki has always loved flying and one of his personal heroes, Giovanni Caproni is portrayed in this film. In fact Miyazaki named his studio after one of Caproni airplanes the Ca.309 Ghibli. His own fascination with flight can be felt in this gorgeous tale.
As his last movie Miyazaki tells a great final artistic tale. I recommend this movie to all fans of Miyazaki.
The movie will be released in theaters in America in English this February 2014.