The Wind Rises Screen
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The Wind Rises

2013

The Wind Rises Poster
  • Miyazaki clearly sees something of himself in Horikoshi; as cofounder of a successful animation studio (whose name, Ghibli, comes from a World War II-era Italian scouting aircraft), he too has transformed his fantasies into large-scale industrial operations. By acknowledging his similarities with a warplane designer, Miyazaki notes our proximity to the atrocities of the 20th century and asks how we live contentedly with this knowledge.

  • The film builds carefully toward a magical realist end with striking historical subtext that feels like a gut-punch. The Wind Rises, and thus Miyazaki’s career, ends with a skyline of flaming wreckage and an emotionally ruined man finally realizing the personal (and ideological) cost of his own artistic expression. Genius can be compromised in the end.

  • The Wind Rises is more than mere allegory. It’s a sublime journey into the very nature of inspiration, from one of the world’s most idiosyncratic filmmakers.

  • The child’s simple and delighted acceptance of the fantastic, as well as the way the joyous scene turns abruptly ominous, is crystalline Miyazaki. The rest of the film remains firmly situated in the adult world, yet The Wind Rises never loses the guileless spark of this early passage, even as its protagonist comes to grapple with increasingly grave issues. It’s the inspired and contemplative work of a septuagenarian artist who still sees with the eyes of a youthful dreamer.

  • Inspired by the Paul Valéry quote that provides the film's title, the characters here press on even as the wind rises, their resolve only stiffened by resistance. And even if Miyazaki's career is complete, a work like this serves to remind us of the shining beacons he's left behind him, the testaments to pursuing beauty in the face of so much ugliness, themselves lasting reminders of the quiet rewards of determination.

  • Unlike any one film that he has made, but sharing qualities with all of them, The Wind Rises is as personal as Porco Rosso, as rooted in a real adult world as My Neighbor Totoro, and as nuanced and sobering as Princess Mononoke with its themes of nature, man, and war. What especially sets The Wind Rises apart is its love story, distinct from any other Miyazaki has portrayed.

  • ...If that romance is the only part of “Wind” that feels a tad too leisurely in its pacing, it’s a small quibble with a film that otherwise affords so much narrative and sensory pleasure. Miyazaki is at the peak of his visual craftsmanship here, alternating lush, boldly colored rural vistas with epic, crowded urban canvases, soaring aerial perspectives and test flights both majestic and ill-fated.

  • While initially jarring, Miyazaki’s unapologetic deviations from fact help “The Wind Rises” to transcend the linearity of its expected structure, the film eventually revealing itself to be less of a biopic than it is a devastatingly honest lament for the corruption of beauty, and how invariably pathetic the human response to that loss must be.

  • Mr. Miyazaki renders Jiro’s life and dreams with lyrical elegance and aching poignancy. At one point, Caproni advises Jiro that artists have 10 years of peak creativity. Yet “The Wind Rises,” with its complex diminuendo, underlines Mr. Miyazaki’s much longer, richly creative odyssey.

  • In one tender scene, Horikoshi patiently holds Satomi's hand while making calculations, smoking a cigarette, and waiting for inspiration. Such tempered optimism makes The Wind Rises a fitting "final film" for Miyazaki.

  • It is a whole film from Jiro's POV, something live-action could not accomplish w/ such nuance and total control. Admittedly a bit dry, and it does romanticize the development of war planes (albeit not with numerous acknowledgements of that), but as a wistful ode to the creation process and to perseverance, it's a delightful self-eulogy.

  • Though The Wind Rises would arguably fall into the bracket of the traditional biopic, it's interesting by dint of it being a formal conceit never adopted before by the Ghibli stable. And yes, it does adhere to conventional story arcs and reaches a somewhat predictable conclusion, yet Miyazaki stands at a valuable distance from his subject, never second guessing his intellectual development and never overplaying his lengthy bouts of sadness and confusion.

  • It's as a stylized romance, its heartbeats subtly reflected in Miyazaki's vivid atmospheric detail, that the film works most rewardingly as an emotional experience. As a one-man biopic, however, its earnestly traditional storytelling can seem dry, even a little turgid, against the film's more innovative sensory properties.

  • The rather hokey metaphorical framing device of wind manifests these forces; wind is the meteorological force that facilitates literal flight as well as the ineffable force of fate that leads Jiro to his eventual wife, Naoko (Miori Takimoto). In theory, Miyazaki’s guiding motif is an elegant way of distilling the shifting and swirling tides that make up our lives; in execution, though, it has the effect of steamrolling over the more challenging nuances of Jiro’s life and his relationships.

  • Miyazaki proves more adept at creating (or in this case, re-creating) worlds than populating them with compelling characters. This isn’t a problem when the director is working in the idiom of fantasy, but it proves more detrimental here, as there are no wood creatures or floating castles to distract from the one-note earnestness of the protagonist...

  • Kids may be bored; their parents, on the other hand, will have way too much to think about. As a movie, “The Wind Rises” is at once beautifully restrained and wildly problematic... I don’t doubt the sincerity of Miyazaki’s pacifism but I’m appalled by his abstract vision. Like, how many tens or hundreds of thousands of real people in Asia and the Pacific were de-animated thanks to Horikoshi’s dreams?

  • Jiro’s genius is godlike, but his personality is nonexistent; time is too-briskly spanned, then ground into blow-by-blow melodrama. Still, you’d be hard-pressed to find a film, animated or otherwise, with a more honest or nuanced take on the amorality of innovation. That Jiro’s planes would become wartime killers doesn’t lessen their elegance, or simplify Miyazaki’s identification with their creator.

  • Apart from its handcrafted visuals, which are as lovely and painstakingly precise as anything in the Ghibli canon, the film feels sapped of conflict and energy—a flaw that becomes even more apparent when Miyazaki tries to amp up the melodrama in the second hour with a doomed love story. Ultimately, The Wind Rises’s even-temperedness feels less like a principled aesthetic choice and more like a shrug in the face of history.

  • Jiro’s stepwise progress from hardworking student to supreme inventor... is a deep and subtle story, but it is undercut by a self-conscious strain of sentimentalized visual poetry that sacrifices astonishment to admiration and invention to cuteness. The studied whimsy hits plot points on the nose and seems likelier to inspire calculation than imagination; rather than just telling a story of regimentation, the movie feels regimented.

  • ...The semifictionalized result is bursting with consistently gorgeous imagery—notably several impossible aircraft that wouldn’t be out of place in My Neighbor Totoro—that the director attempts to freight with sobering ambivalence. (Horikoshi’s beautiful things, after all, were responsible for many deaths.) Yet like his protagonist, Miyazaki often seems too bewitched by the visual allure to dig very deeply into the troubling undercurrents.

  • While certain aspects of the narrative—notably the devastating 1923 Kanto earthquake and its resulting firestorms—would have been prohibitively costly to enact in live action, only the scenes in which Caproni appears in Horikoshi’s dreams (or vice versa, as Caproni insists) take full advantage of Miyazaki’s gifts.

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