The Wind Rises (2013) Poster

User Reviews

Review this title
143 Reviews
Sort by:
Filter by Rating:
The Most different Miyazaki's Film
qiushibo18 September 2013
This film is totally different from Miyazaki's other films and I personally think, like what he's mentioned, a message to to world about how he looks at the war, war machines , peace, love and living. As I am a Taiwanese, who has once colonized and ruled by Japanese during the second world war, how Japanese coped with the war topic is always sensitive. However, what I saw in this film is truly reflecting that Miyazaki is peace loving and his point of view on war, life and love. He depicted about the beauty of dreams and surviving. You can see that everyone in this film try every hard to live, even though the time is hard and forced to strike a balance between dreams and reality. However, they are self fulfilling. So who is to blame? who ruined their lives and dreams? Those who leads them to the war to blame.

In short, the film perfectly shows how the director's been telling in almost every his masterpiece but in a personally way, to the audience. Just like a final message he would like yo transmit to the world. I felt overwhelmed by the film and sad that he decided to retired. Please go to watch this film and you will do feel the courage to live hard and live well.
89 out of 99 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Miyazaki's most mature film?
ShiiStyle28 July 2013
The announcement of this film was a pleasant surprise after Ponyo and From Up on Poppy Hill, which both had simple, childish plots. Few films in Japan have tackled the lives of imperial period heroes; the ghosts of the 1960s urge people to denounce what really happened in that time and memorialize an imaginary anti-war movement, for example in this year's film "Shounen H". For Miyazaki to choose a subject like this showed that he was really going for a huge challenge. Miyazaki is of course anti-war and environmentalist. But Ghibli films are never negative. What sort of positive image of the Zero bomber inventor would Miyazaki produce?

The result is astounding. As everyone has noted, this is not a children's movie. It's complex, so it doesn't have the epic sense of Miyazaki at his best, but history and adulthood are just as complex, and Miyazaki does justice to both. The film indeed stays positive throughout, by showing from start to finish how everyone wishes they themselves would behave, rewarding the viewer with virtue and beauty, but without being condescending about the hardships of real life. In a sense, the film is about the "importance of dreams", but it's also about what it means to be a dreamer in real life, and how our highest fantasies can be turned into beauty if we put our minds to it. The cartoon medium is put to full, extravagant use in dream sequences that merge right into the narrative. Certain elements at the end of the film leave the obvious unsaid in a peculiarly Japanese and fulfilling way. The most classic films of Japan, like the great works of Akira Kurosawa and Yasujiro Ozu, say something profound about the meaning of life, and Kaze Tachinu deserves a place among those ranks.
118 out of 141 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A must see for animation fans! Stunningly beautiful.
rannynm20 February 2014
This is a breathtaking masterpiece of art that allows your mind and heart to soar like the wind .The story is loosely based on the real life story of Jiro Horikoshi (Joseph Gordon- Levitt). He dreams of flying but, because he's nearsighted, decides to be a Japanese airplane designer. We observe his life from child to adulthood as he makes his dream plane and, in the process, falls in love with Naoko (Emily Blunt). Will Jiro create the beautiful plane or realize that the beauty he's seeking is right in front of him all along?

The film is a work of art. Hayao Miyazaki (Director and Writer) creates unique color palettes and designs. Since the movie takes place in the sky, the animators go above and beyond to hand draw backgrounds and movements for the planes. We witness them majestically soaring through the skies and you feel as if you're with them. The voice acting is well done. I think they portrayed the characters and their relationships exceptionally well. Much of the film focuses on the romance between Naoko and Jiro. Their connection is both loving and tragic. The film was first released in Japan, so American voice-overs are dubbed over the animation and yes, it can be distracting. They confront actual events that happened in Japan, such as the Kanto earth-quake of 1923 and Japan entering the war. I love the truth in this film. It doesn't shy away from talking about the real issues that happened during this time.

My favorite character is Mr.Caproni (Stanley Tucci) a historical Italian aircraft designer who is Jiro's mentor in his dreams. I enjoy Stanley's voice acting skills. He's one of those character actors who is fantastic at everything he does. The character himself is fascinating. He looks at aircraft not as a bringer of war, but a creator of dreams.

My favorite scene is the last dream sequence, after Jiro goes through a life changing experience. This is one of those bitter sweet endings, where you don't know what to think at first. You just need to take it all in.

The message in this film is, "Sometimes the outcome to your dream is not always what you expect." Jiro spends his whole life wanting to make his aircraft, determined to do anything to fulfill his goal. After a few sacrifices, he realizes his potential but it's not what he expects. Mr. Caproni then asks him, "Did you have a good ten years?"

I give this 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it to 11 to 18-year-olds. This film shows people smoking and deals with serious issues of the time. This is a must see film!

Reviewed by Keefer B, KIDS FIRST Film Critic. For more youth reviews go to
33 out of 38 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Film Authority on The Wind Rises
littlewritingmachine13 March 2014
Aviation has always been a key element of the Studio Ghibli films; from the flying broomstick in Kiki's Delivery Service to the airborne armies in Howl's Moving Castle. So for Hayao Miyazaki's reported swan-song to focus on the development of aeroplane design is no surprise. A fictionalised biopic of designer Jiro Horikoshi, The Wind Rises is a stunning achievement, an animated film that uses the medium to tell a compelling, highly emotional story that has appeal for children and adults alike. Horikoshi's designs were used during World War 2, and that detail may make The Wind Rises unpalatable to some. But Miyazaki's films have never focused on battle-lines, but on the personal stories involved, and The Wind Rises gains power from the balancing of the beauty of the designs against the knowledge that the purpose for which the designs will be used leads to death and unhappiness. It's a bitter-sweet paradox, and one that many directors would sweep under the carpet. Instead, Miyazaki puts Horikoshi's dilemma centre-stage, and depicts the designer's angst as he finds himself immersed in industrial and international intrigue while he attempts to keep his own thinking pure. A subplot, invented for the film, relates how Horikoshi's work life is informed by his chaste romance with Naoko, a woman with tuberculosis who won't marry until she recovers. Horikoshi's dreams take flight while his day-to-day reality struggles to leave the ground behind. The Wind Rises stirs up sensational aerial dream sequences, but also captures the bleakness of life on the ground, as Tokyo recovers from a devastating earthquake. Horikoshi and Naoko journey to the Magic Mountain resort in an effort to address her physical malaise, and their interaction with a mysterious German spy, beautifully voiced by Werner Herzog, sketches out the sinister world of warmongering that forms the backdrop to their romance. Studio Ghibli films have always been beautiful to watch, and The Wind Rises excels in every frame. But the overriding message, about the role of a gifted individual to overcome the constraints of society, is just as beautifully wrought; The Wind Rises is required viewing for anyone who wants to have their spirits lifted and soar like the wind for two blissful hours.
24 out of 28 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Hayao Miyazaki's Most Beautiful Film
jdshald-785-7083769 November 2013
The Wind Rises is a fictionalized biography / character study of Jiro Hirikoshi and his story of becoming an Aviation Engineer. This movie had a great impact on me after seeing it in the theatre and I thought about what I had seen for the one hour drive home afterwards. In terms of pacing and how the movie focuses on the main character I was reminded of David Lean movies in its maturity and emotional grit. There were also times when watching that I thought to myself I have never seen hand drawn animation this good ever and will probably never see animation this good ever again. The character designs are beautiful. The backgrounds and color pallete are beautiful. The animation is breathtaking. But the story is just as beautiful as the artwork. The movie is about one mans journey to make beautiful airplanes but is also equally tragic in later scenes of the movie in the evolving love story and especially the last scene in the movie.

This movie does not explain at any time through dialogue what the character is feeling but instead it shows you and the subtle and at times powerful emotions which are the glue of what holds his story together. Some people may wonder why Miyazaki took creative risks with the real life story of Jiro Hirikoshi. The real life Jiro never married to a woman with Tuberculosis. Did he really fantasize about building airplanes? Was he really followed by a Soviet Spy? I think the way the character fantasizes about airplanes even when not dreaming is an honest depiction of how creative people like Hayao Miyazaki think.

Along with Porco Rosso this is probably Hayao Miyazaki's most personal movie. If you study Hayao Miyazaki's movies and read about his career like I have it becomes obvious that this movie is as much about Jiro Hirikoshi as it is about Hayao Miyazaki.

I recommend anyone who has ever been creative to go see the Wind Rises.

Hayao Miyazaki's Most Beautiful film.
84 out of 110 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Miyazaki's swan song doesn't disappoint
Quinoa19841 March 2014
I don't know if I loved it right from minute one, but then it doesn't quite start like any Miyazaki film (well, even with a dream scene). Its a little quieter, more natural, thoughtful and subdued, much like the main character will be through the film. And then earthquake hits. Its unlike anything you've seen in an animated film. It doesn't hype up its suspense or action. it simply shows Its protagonist, Jiro, react to a situation as calm and controlled as possible amid the debris and darkness and chaos, and help a couple of people in need. of course he doesn't know this young woman he saves will be an emotional foundation for his life. But as with any simple but splendid poetry we have a sense of the connection made.

Any other director might just make it a film about the 1920s earthquake that devastated Tokyo. Not Miyazaki. Soon after Tokyo is up and running and Jiro is after his passion which is airplanes. He dreams about them, and more than that dreams about the Italian icon of flying he looks up to as he gives Jiro advice and philosophical points about flying, inspiration and technology. And very soon after the film is more than anything about this man and his process - finding without any grandiose strokes what can make a plane fly quicker, faster, safer, with more agility and s look like no other. And, sometime soon, finding a love all his own.

Miyazaki has said (once again but probably for real this time) that he is done making films with the conclusion of the Wind Rises. If so, that's fine. I'm not sure if it's any sort of culmination of what his career has been or what he's said - Though you could certainly have a double feature with Porco Rosso, also about the wonder of flight but more in an adventure fantasy approach and have a fantastic several hours - and yet it's no less a marvel than anything else he's made. And if anything it just reveals more depths to how he feels for people and can show them in dimensions on screen than ever before. It is a biopic still, and a line here or there may be cornball, but so what. Its a fiercely intelligent film with genuine sentiment and a grace that comes from being a master letting your story unfold without rushing, letting scenes play out for full emotional weight, And ample colors and compositions painted with nostalgia for a mood (if not necessarily a side in history).

And yet you may think going in that there will be some sort of agenda politically speaking as it looks at a man who helped, ultimately, design planes that dropped bombs and shot and killed the US during world war two. It really isn't, or as simple as that. A couple of scenes with a German businessman of a sort voiced by Werner Herzog (yes the one and only, you'll know him when you hear him) lays out the futility in war and conflicts. And Jiro agrees. when someone speaks to him about what planes will be sent to fight whom, he is already resigned. "Japan will burn,' he says more or less. And yet he always stays more pragmatic, more about the work and the hard enough task to make the planes and make them fly high and well. This double edged sword also comes out when he is talking to his Italian guru in his dreams (especially the last one at the end of the war).

With all of this, the Wind Rises is a touching love story that seems possibly very doomed from the start - before getting engaged Jiro is told by Nahoko she has Tuberculosis and he doesn't care, or at least about that deterring him away - and how strong their bond is. How often do we get to see people in a movie, animated or otherwise, act like this to one another with kindness and compassion and a tenderness that (for the most part, maybe there's a bit of that "Japanese Disney" schmaltz but not much) is without any reservation? Not often really, at least like this as told at times without words at all; the high point of the picture is when there is a kind of wordless courtship as Jiro flies a paper plane around and it goes to the girl and she flies it back out as he chase to catch it and it repeats. The moving music, the amiable tone of the whole set piece, the mild peril... I'm at a loss to how much that just works because it feels true.

Did I mention its among the ten most beautifully animated films ever made? And I'm sure that group includes Mononoke and Totoro already. And I know full well a term like 'beautiful" is overused and tired. But Miyazaki crafts his works (or did) by hand with gorgeous, clear lines, water colors and maybe some cgi, and it both serves the story and its own sense of the world it's in: the earthy greens, the shiny clouds and blue skies, the metallic force of the planes, the drab grays of the offices and plane hangers. And yet you are still wrapped up in the tale of this man and those who cared about him or were inspired by and led by him, and is another rarity (easier to pull off in literature, trickier here and Miyzaki just about pulls it off): a mild wind that grows with power and energy, briefly, and then ebbs and flows with reality and, again, thought.
51 out of 65 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The Beauty of Life
b-chronogate-d29 September 2013
There might be people saying that it was the bad thing to do to create airplane to kill people. However, the beauty of his life through his Mitsubishi Zero is worth viewing. The young guy lived with his dream, creating the beautiful airplane to fly in the free blue sky. It describe that even though there are many beautiful moments to live as a human being, the wart itself turns them into all evil. I felt like Hayao Miyazaki wanted to tell us the point. And even though under worst situation like world war, people live their own life, and those lives themselves are just so beautiful. Once you watch this movie, you must feel something warm from deep of your heart.
54 out of 73 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Another "Visualized Masterpiece" from Miyazaki
m_rishav15 August 2013
Warning: Spoilers
First of all, let me start by telling "Woah, What a great movie".

Hayao Miyazaki's latest movie The Wind Rises is one of his best movies till date though the story line and plot is completely different from all his other movies which had a magical and fantasy feeling to it. It's nowhere near Spirited Away his best work till date but it ranks 3rd in my ghibli list after Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke.

The story, partly non-fiction, evolves around a young mechanical designer whose dream was to build beautiful airplanes. He ultimately succeeds in building fully up-to-date planes, but which went to war, and none came back.

His personal life is set in Japan when people were facing great uncertainty after the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, and preparation for the war with China, then America, and Britain, and Netherlands, and the Soviets ... He and his colleagues do what they do best and what they are supposed to do under those circumstances: make planes. Just do it.

His life enters into a new stage when he meets again accidentally with the girl whose life he saved during the earthquake. Their beautiful romance and eventual marriage is however overshadowed by her disease (tuberculosis, which was incurable at that time), and war.

The ending completely pays off and blew me away in every term. The Movie is what we wanted from Miyazaki though intended for Mature Audiences only, I suggest everyone to watch this movie and I am sure that you will receive 1 ounce more pleasure than I did.

10/10 For this Masterpiece.
24 out of 30 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Definitely Oscar worthy.
bbickley13-921-5866423 February 2014
So when I first saw that an anime called the Wind Rises was coming to theaters I could not wait to see it simply because it was an anime coming to theaters. I had no idea what the movie was about, but when I saw the movie, I discovered it was about one of my Favorite subjects, Airplanes.

It's a very simple story that could have been done in Live-action. Jirou who as a boy met his hero, airplane designer, Caproni in his dreams was inspired to become an airplane designer. Years later Jirou lives his dreams and designs airplanes for a manufacturer who sells his beautiful designs to be used for the Ugly art of War. Jirou also fines love in the movie with a young girl name Naoko. All the characters in the movie who supported Jirou, from his little bratty sister, to his firm but fair boss, to his best friend and rival at work. They all help to make you feel like Jirou had a real posh life. I also loved how the story gives us a perspective of Japan pre-World War 2 through the life of Jirou.

All of this could have been done in live action, but the craftsmanship of fame director Hayao Miyazaki makes you think otherwise. The animation takes a very surrealistic approach to telling this drama without making it seem cartoonish like Mickey Mouse. The scene portraying the great Kanto earthquake of 1923 made the ground feel like it was coming to life as a giant wave just took out an entire city. The Dream sequences worked very elegantly, just naturally seeming through. And the planes! the animation team did a great job of making the entire layout of the airplanes look fantastic.

I've seen dramatic anime where the animation does nothing to push the story along but Mr. Miyaazaki did fine work to make sure that was not the case. It's been forever since I've seen a 2D moving illustration on the big screen, it felt a little weird, but this was definitely the movie to bring us all back to that. Someone told me that Hayao Miyazaki may retire after this one as he feels he can't top this. I will not disagree, because this one is excellent.
42 out of 56 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Deeply beautiful
zetes6 March 2014
Miyazaki's swan song, most likely. It's an animated biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, a Japanese aircraft engineer who developed the Zero, the plane which would eventually bomb Pearl Harbor and do kamikaze attacks in WWII. The man himself was a pacifist (at least according to this film). Most of the film just deals with the man's love for flight, which obviously makes the story very dear to Miyazaki. In fact, a good portion of the film takes place in Horikoshi's dreams, where he can invent any crazy contraption. First and foremost, the film is gorgeous. Though it mostly deals with the real world, it finds the beauty in it. As good as the film is, it isn't one of Miyazaki's best. It's a little long-winded and slow (definitely don't take your kids to it, even if they're big Ghibli fans). Miyazaki kind of neuters the militaristic history of Japan at that time. You can feel some terrible stuff going on in the background, but, outside of the Germans, whom our hero visits at one point, all the characters whom we meet are perfectly nice people. I would have liked a more detailed picture of history at the time. Also, the romance that is depicted in the film, which is entirely invented, is a tad too maudlin (though it is quite nice up front). And, though I won't hold it against the film itself, the English language dub is awful. This may be due to the film's specific, Japanese setting, but I really felt the voice actors were just dull as Hell. I hate to say it, but Joseph Gordon-Levitt in the lead role is the worst. The least offensive performances come from Martin Short and Mae Whitman (the latter is a professional voice actress who is great on Avatar: The Last Airbender, though she is best known for her role as Michael Cera's dull girlfriend Ann on Arrested Development). I wish I had just seen the subtitled version instead (it was playing here, but at an inconvenient theater). I might like the film better seeing it subtitled. All those criticisms don't amount to too much, though. It's a wonderful film.
23 out of 29 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Half an engineer, half a poet, eternally a dreamer…
ElMaruecan8228 September 2017
... maybe that's Miyazaki's secret, finally unveiled in his latest movie: "The Wind Rises".

You know, it's been three months since I discovered his work… and I never had to experience any kind of disappointment. And although I got used to his unequaled capability to catch my eyes and my heart, some of his movies really hit a sensitive chord, like "Kiki" or "Ponyo" and perhaps the action-less moments of "Nausicaa".

But I can't really describe the effect "The Wind Rises" had on me. For one thing, I'm glad I'm discovering it late because it's the film that best captures Miyazaki's love for airplanes. His passion never went unnoticed; how could it be? Almost half of his movies involve airplanes, flying devices or stunts in the air, but there has always been an element of fantasy that distracted from the personal approach he had to flying, even in "Porco Rosso" which was the most explicit homage to the Italian contribution to aviation.

But "The Wind Rises" made me realize how fantasy is perhaps the sincerest medium to convey passionate matters, because -to put it simply- it's all about dreams and vision that wait for the right wind to carry them a little and give them that extra push they need for flying. "The wind has risen, one must try to live" is the excerpt from Paul Valéry's poem that novelist Hori Tatsuo used as an inspiration for a tragic romance, and who else than Miyazaki could explore such a story, he who had dedicated all his life to things in the air, from feelings to… plain things (pun intended). One thing he had in common with Jiro Horikochi, the main protagonist.

The film deals with planes in a way that has never been touched by Miyazaki, it's not about flying but about the dreams of flying, their very blossoming in the fertile soil of a man's mind. In fact, the film is less devoted to planes than to the devotion of a boy, then a man, who designed the Imperial Army's most notorious aircraft. They were used in the war but the film has a point to make about war. Miyazaki believes in Jiro's humanism and expresses it through very riveting dreamy moments. Jiro is a dreamer, literally, and whenever he dreams, he meets his all-time idol, Italian Giovanni Caproni. Together they share their views about planes, their universal appeal and sadly their belligerent uses (or misuses).

But don't get it wrong, just because it's in the poetic vicinity of Miyazaki's usual works, the film is as realistic as any serious biography picture, although fictionalized with a romance adapted from the "Wind Has Risen" novel and many events that struck Japan from the Great Depression to Kanto's earthquake, and last but not least, the war. Jiro is portrayed as a witness of his time who must adapt to the evolution of society, a two-pace society with a feudal heritage yet trying to match the Meiji dream. The most emblematic image is the prototype being pulled by ox. This is Miyazaki's most personal film, it has Japan, it has humanism and well, it has planes.

And to give you an idea, this film is far more revealing about Jiro than "A Beautiful Mind" with John Nash. There was something so catching in Jiro's passion, in the way he kept focused on his job. I could even feel I was venturing into his mind as if Miyazaki met him in his dreams before making this film. I have no clues about planes but I do love a movie about passion, this is a film about a man who loves planes by a man who loves them. To judge a good biopic, I guess it all comes to the area of passion driving the maker. Having thick glasses, Giro could never fly but Caproni almost rhymes with epiphany, the Italian icon tells him that he can't even fly a plane, but there's just something far more exhilarating than creating. And Miyazaki wouldn't disagree.

The heart of the film is centered on the romance between Jiro and a gentle tuberculosis stricken girl, like Hori's wife who inspired the novel. And whenever they meet, the wind rises and make their encounter possible. Air is our universal heritage, in the film, it reunites people and give a proper meaning to their life. This air so fragile in "Nausicaa", this air that symbolizes peace in a world that prepares to war and about which the post-apocalyptic Nausicaa warned us. Miyazaki signs his best film. I enjoyed it so much it could have been twice longer, to the post-war period time.

But the film culminates with the tragic ending and doesn't show much of the war. It is anticlimactic to use a technical term, but I guess it's a fine ending because there wasn't much to add about Jiro once he designed the prototype, once the plane that started as a concept hidden behind a fish bone became a technological marvel. The film is dedicated to the engineer and to the poet. And the verse "The Wind Rises, one must try to live" is so beautiful it could work as an epitaph for Hayao Miyazaki, summing up his best contribution to animation: inviting us to dream, to pursue our dreams and to take them seriously like a poet, a bit like an engineer, always like a dreamer.

This is one of the greatest animated movies of recent times, and given how critical I was about "Frozen", I was shocked that it won the Oscar. From what I read, there was some controversy surrounding the peaceful nature of Jiro, a sugarcoating of the war and an overuse of smoking. I'd say "The Wind Rises" deserved better than being beaten by a film that tried to play the "socially relevant" card to death. But the masterpiece flies over "Frozen" like a zeppelin over a fish bone.
5 out of 5 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Weak plot
justfeltlikewriting13 September 2013
Warning: Spoilers
The advertising slogan of this film was 「生きねば」 -- do not give up no matter how tough your life is.

However, the difficulties the protagonist happen to face are very few and mild, especially considering what the average Japanese citizens went through during the war. He is born to a rich family, gets his dream job at a first-class company without any struggle whatsoever, and is soon given a chance to study abroad in Germany and keeps pursuing his dream of designing a "beautiful plane".

This was a time when young men were forced to die in the battlefields, never allowed to even have a dream except dying for the country, while the only real difficulty the protagonist faced that I could personally relate to was the fact that his wife was dying (and it was still very difficult to understand why he fell in love with his wife in the first place).

The first half of the movie was a slow paced story about a man who pursued his dream without having to face any difficulty interesting enough to observe. The second half was a sloppy tear-jerker love story starring a young woman whose character depth was as shallow as the protagonist's.

I may have been the shallow one but that was what I thought anyway.
78 out of 131 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Gorgeous movie!
oscarscheepstra1 November 2013
Warning: Spoilers
I watched this movie yesterday night, on the International Cinema Festival here in São Paulo, Brazil. This movie is astonishing. It really feels lie a good-bye movie, but that is not what makes it sad. Although the movie is uplifting, colourful and with an amazing music score... it is quite sad to think that Grave of the Fireflies happened just a few years later! This movie is deliciously colourful. We can also see Miyazaki's style on the characters. They actually do the Totoro's head size changing thing when expressing strong emotions. One of the things that I really liked was the music score. It starts as a simple guitar, but in the end it evolves to a full orchestra. The sound effects are quite amazing as well. I felt that the Germany part of the movie was a tad slow, and some parts could be more developed, such as the flashligh part of the movie. This is a bit annoying, but is soon forgotten. The mixture between dreams and reality is delicious. I felt happy and warm inside watching all the happy people riding Caproni's plane. But in the same time... I felt sad, because, as I wrote above... this would all end in a few years or months. It is disturbing that the Zero would be used as a weapon and that many would not return. It is funny - the movie makes you feel good and uneasy on the same time. Still, this was one of the most gorgeous animation's I have ever seen. Mr. Miyazaki finished his career with a great movie, and his work sure be missed.
13 out of 18 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Completely Worth the Long Wait for North American Release
griffolyon1228 February 2014
Warning: Spoilers
How do you even begin to talk about the final film from one of your favorite filmmakers to ever live? Japanese animation maestro, Hayao Miyazaki, has made some of the greatest animated films ever. From My Neighbor Totoro to Spirited Away, Miyazaki's imagination seemingly knows no bounds, so when he announced last Fall that The Wind Rises would be his last film before retirement, I immediately knew I had to see it on the biggest screen possible, no matter what. The Wind Rises is simply put, another Miyazaki masterpiece. If you are already a fan of his works, then you will love it, and even if this is your first taste, this very well might be the best place to start.

The film tells the slightly fictionalized life story of one of Miyazaki's personal heroes, aeronautical engineer, Jiro Horikoshi. While Jiro is now more famously known as the man who built the Zero Fighter that the Japanese used to bomb Pearl Harbor, the real Jiro was a pacifist who only wanted to build something beautiful. The film follows Jiro from 1918 all the way through the start of World War II and details the sweet, yet tragic love story between him and his ailing wife, while also showing how Jiro was inspired to create the Zero Fighter.

Upon seeing The Wind Rises, it's obvious why Miyazaki chose this particular story as his swan song, it features every major thematic idea of his various works all compiled into one narrative, and yet it is very different from any of his other films. Could Miyazaki have created another lavish fantasy adventure as his final film? He could have, and all of his fans would have watched it, but there's something special about The Wind Rises that makes it worth every ounce of salt in the world. Miyazaki's pacifism, his eccentricity, and his optimism are all on full display throughout the narrative, all represented through the eyes of Jiro and how he processes everything through vivid daydreams and his own quiet optimism.

As far as the animation goes, the folks at Studio Ghibli have all done another marvelous job. The dream sequences, where Jiro envisions planes, are all some of the most gorgeous images Ghibli animators have ever drawn, and the way that the animators use wind, especially when dealing with any outdoor scene between Jiro and his wife, Nahoko, is simply stunning. There is an expressionistic flair to the wind that is very reminiscent to how Studio Ghibli approached the water in Ponyo. The wind feels alive and almost becomes a bit of an invisible puppeteer, often working as hard as the music to cue you into the emotions of the story. Speaking of the music, Miyazaki's longtime collaborator, composer Joe Hisaishi, has delivered another breathtaking score that manages to defy expectation with the Italian-inspired theme juxtaposed against the Japanese setting.

I really can't say enough about The Wind Rises. Perhaps the film has so much resonance for me because I am such a huge Miyazaki fan (he ranks behind only Steven Spielberg in my book of favorite directors of all-time), but The Wind Rises truly is a sensational film as well. This is quite possibly the most romantic film Miyazaki has ever made, turning paper airplanes into a new form of love letter, while also delivering some of the most fully fleshed out characters Miyazaki has ever committed to film. Like all of Miyazaki's works, the characters are all slightly eccentric, funny, and extremely lovable, even in all of their flaws, but there is a depth to every character and their motivations, in particular Jiro and Nahoko, that is deeply moving.

While The Wind Rises is not typical Miyazaki, the spirit of invention is still there in every frame, where you feel as if you are discovering a long lost epic from the Golden Age of Hollywood or something. That's actually how The Wind Rises feels to me. The Wind Rises is so simple, yet complex at the same time, and is consistently entertaining while being a movie you'll definitely want a hankie for. Thank you, Miyazaki-san, for this film and for a career that has inspired me so much.

I give The Wind Rises a 10 out of 10!
11 out of 15 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Dispirited Away
tieman645 June 2014
Warning: Spoilers
"Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds." - J. Robert Oppenheimer

Directed by Hayao Miyazaki, "The Wind Rises" tells the tale of Jiro Horikoshi, designer of the Mitsubishi Zero, the lightweight and highly manoeuvrable fighter plane that enabled many Japanese victories early in World War II.

"Humans have always dreamt of flight," Gianna Caproni, an Italian aeronautical engineer, tells Jiro, "but the dream is cursed!" In sequences like this, Miyazaki sets up the film's central theme: not only that flying machines will inevitably be used to massacre human beings, but that every human endeavour, every piece of art, every piece of technology, is inevitably compromised.

Later, Jiro and Caproni discuss the Great Pyramids. "I'd rather live in a world with pyramids than a world without," Caproni states. The implication is clear: dreams may be cursed, pyramids may be built by slaves to honour tyrants, but better them or nothing. That this is a false binary, or giant straw-man argument, is lost on Miyazaki; one can always extricate oneself from problematic actions or systems.

But the difficulty in extricating oneself from such things, or noticing them in the first place, is what seems to interest Miyazaki. Jiro himself eventually emerges as a "Little Eichmann". A reference to Nazi bureaucrat Adolf Eichmann, the term refers to anyone who on an individual scale seems dutiful, benign or harmless, but is nevertheless complicit in aiding or propagating destruction. As such, Jiro's romantic idealisations are subverted throughout "The Wind Rises", culminating with the death of his wife to tuberculosis. Jiro may remain naive, but bombarded with much dread and apocalyptic imagery, Miyazaki's audience is never allowed to forget the darker ramifications of Jiro's actions.

Though Miyazaki never really sanctions Jiro and Caproni's romantic rationalisations, the intensity at which Miyzaki portrays Jiro as a wide-eyed moron has led many to accuse "The Wind Rises" of whitewashing Jiro's historical role. Jiro's planes, after all, were built by Chinese and Korean slave labour. They were used to attack Korea, invade China, the Philippines, Vietnam and so forth. Historians point out that Japan's militarism was hardly unique in terms of early 20th century Imperialism (no better, the Empires of France, Russia, Britain and the burgeoning United States would account for far more deaths), but "you did it too" is no defence.

Odd for a lead character, Miyazaki's Jiro is passive, lacking in any self-reflexivity, and never questions what's going on around him. Despite (or because of) this, the film works well as an allegory about the innocence, arrogance, myopia and culpability of artists, and the way in which states co-opt and pervert the aspirations of individuals. Such themes are typical in Japanese animated features (everything from "Akira" to "Sky Crawlers"), the nation seemingly forever sceptical of urbanisation, modernisation and every new piece of technology it rampantly gobbles up. Miyazaki is himself a bit of a technophobe. "Modern life is thin and shallow and fake," he moans in interviews, "I look forward to when developers go bankrupt, Japan gets poorer and wild grasses take over!"

"The Wind Rises" is as gorgeous as Miyazaki previous films, bouncing from bucolic, agrarian Japan, to urban spaces, to several long flying sequences. Elsewhere scenes in 1930s Germany echo a German tourist's visit to Japan, and the Great Kanto earthquake of 1923 foreshadows the atomic destruction of 1945. Jiro's wilful naiveté itself resembles that of the physicists who split the atom.

What's perhaps most remarkable about "The Wind Rises", though, is the way it accurately captures the psychology of those working at the cutting edge of high tech industries. Jiro is intelligent, passionate and single-minded, but always moving between hotel rooms, offices and lonely spaces. This alienation, Miyazaki says, is precisely what makes Jiro's intelligence so dangerous. Cacooned and sheltered, Jiro belongs to a learned class which rarely meaningfully interacts with "ordinary people", and so rarely questions the morality and ramifications of its own behaviour. The result is a lead character whose brain is incredibly parcellated, steeped in all forms of sophisticated denial.

This being Miyazaki, "The Wind Rises" is also obsessed with notions of "Progress". Miyazaki's Japan becomes corrupt and perverse as it embraces the "emacipatory" tenets of Modernism. These "perversions" are subtly mentioned by Miyazaki (if we ignore his heavy-handed dream sequences), such as sequences in which poor children roam the streets, or when banks foreclose on civilians. The result is a very sophisticated portrait of a nation in decline at the precise moment it embarks upon a project to lift itself up.

Many have complained that "Rises" isn't as fun as Miyazaki's other works. Indeed, the film at times seems like a dour melodrama by Yasujiro Ozu. But Miyazaki subverts the conventions of the melodrama at every turn. Consider, for example, the way Jiro's blindness (literal and metaphorical) echoes the film's very own aesthetic and narrative structure, which relentless avoids looking at or thinking about warfare. For this is a film about a young man who is so preoccupied with love, life and aviation, that he doesn't realise that he's helping rain destruction down upon Japan (the spectre of the atomic bombings loom over the film). In this way, "Rises" plays like an anime version of Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon" (or De Sica's "The Garden of the Finzi-Continis"), another film in which surface beauty and foregrounded decor ironically counterpointed thematic underbellies.

"Rises" boasts Miyazaki's most autobiographical script since "Whisper of the Heart". Parallels are drawn between aeronautical engineers and animators, between hanger bays and animating studios, and Jiro at times resembles Miyazaki himself, with his bespectacled eyes and love of wind-swept wings. Elsewhere Jiro smokes Cherry cigarettes, Miyazaki's brand of choice, and scenes in which Jiro's sister accuses Jiro of neglecting his family echo Miyazaki's own outspoken fears. "The Wind Rises" is reportedly Hayao Miyazaki's last animated feature; farewell Master.

8.5/10 – Multiple viewings required. See "The King of Pigs".
12 out of 17 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Disappointing movie - Doesn't meet expectations
MrLyth28 January 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I am afraid this movie cannot be considered good. It is slow from the beginning to the end... At minute three I started to question myself... "Why is this scene lasting 20 seconds ? 21, 22...". I went to the theater without the knowledge of the synopsis... and I must say, it is the worst way of discovering the film. One must be warned before he watches the movie... that "the wind rises" has nothing to do with any other Miyazaki's productions.

-- SPOILER -- I have read critiques praising Miyazaki for this "fantastic, intense, poetic film"... In my opinion, any beginner could have made a better storyline... and the drama is just so common. It is dull, monotonous, slow. Half of the movie was 100% disappointing and boring, or cliché ("I have loved you from the moment I saw you" etc). A slight interest caught me in the middle of the movie, when Jiro must struggle for his work and for his wife. Sadly, it is only a fictional part, nothing close to reality... so, well, could have been anything else.

Besides, some moral values promoted by the film are disputable... Jiro lets his wife breathe his smoking because she doesn't want to leave him any second... He prefers that she stays living with him rather than having a chance of getting cured in the mountains. And so on. I think this is very childish. Nourishing such ideals is idiotic. There is nothing to be praised in the decisions of this couple. The film only presents a way of thinking at a given period of time, and takes no step back. Miyazaki casts a childish eye upon this couple when he should have been able to emphasize the flaws of this reasoning. Jiro could have made more compromises to take care of his wife... etc. "But working is important for a man" says Naoko's father. And... no rebellion, no step back, ... we're deep in some Japanese conceptions of life... and it bothers me deeply. In the same category, Naoko leaving the house not to be seen dead is another weird ideal. Such ideals are WRONG, for very known reasons : any man has a need for mourning when a person dies, and mourning is easier when the dead person can be seen, touched, buried... So basically, Miyazaki here is praising the ability to mourn without seeing the body. Jiro even says "thank you" to Naoko who asks him to go on living. I'm so shocked by all these idiotic ideals actually !

Anyway, all in all... their decisions could have made sense. Yes it makes sense when someone is suffering; and you know this person will die eventually; to please her in every way, even if it doesn't benefit her health... It is somehow the "best" thing to do when someone is about to die. But the problem is, they stopped fighting far too soon !! How could they know she was so much about to die ?!


Many elements of the film needed more depth or explanation or stepping back to make a good adult movie. But as for me, Miyazaki only casts a childish eye on matters way more complex.

"The wind rises" is the typical example of work that gets fantastic critiques ONLY because of the name of the producer. Say it was "The wind rises" made by Unknown 001, it would not have received any good critique. People would have just watched the film for what it is, as I did. But since it's Miyazaki, everyone tries hard to see *what's HIDDEN*, because since it's Miyazaki it must be great !! So let's say the animation is tremendous !! Erm, guys, the animation is absolutely standard. We could expect much more for the last film from Miyazaki...

It so seems I don't like any of the "personal" films from Miyazaki ("the wind rises" and "Porco Rosso" as it seems). I do not share the passion for aviation at all and it feels like a neurosis of Miyazaki.

To sum up, if you expect the usual Miyazaki fancy, do not watch this movie.
39 out of 69 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An extraordinarily beautiful and adult story from Miyazaki.
MartinHafer24 August 2017
"The Wind Rises" is a highly fictionalized version of the early years of aeronautical engineers Jiro Hirokoshi and Tatsuo Hori...with a very strong emphasis on Jiro. The fact Hiyao Miyazaki would make such a film isn't all that surprising, since he seemed to have a real sentimental attitude towards early airplanes in several of his films (such as "Porco Rosso"). However, I was a bit surprised when I learned about the film since the planes these two men made for Mitsubishi were important components of the extremely nationalistic Japanese military of the 1930s and era many would probably choose to forget.

Not surprisingly, this is a Miyazaki film that is not at all intended for children. In fact, I wouldn't bother showing it to your younger audiences...they'd be bored. Plus some parents would object to all the smoking and cursing...and there's not a single Totoro or flying witch to be seen! As for me, I understand that many Japanese animated films are NOT intended for kids and that isn't a bad thing at all. In this case, Studio Ghibli managed to make one of the loveliest of all their films in "The Wind Rises". It is extremely touching in parts, especially when dealing with Jiro's fated romance. In fact, the film practically screams quality throughout and it's not at all surprising that it was nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar. Well worth seeing.

Incidentally, Jiro's infamous Japanese Zero was interesting because by the end of the war almost every single one of these aircraft had been destroyed...and I wonder how he felt about this. Ironically, one of the few Zeros to survive did so because it was captured and taken to the States for testing and evaluation.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
The perfect swan song for a great director
MissSimonetta6 August 2014
This film went beyond my expectations and I am so glad I got to see it on the big screen. The Wind Rises (2013) is Hayao Miyazaki's swan song and he could not have bowed out on a better note than this. Going from the TV series Future Boy Conan (1978) to TWR shows how Miyazaki's vision has changed and evolved over the years; it's a beautiful thing.

A loose biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, this film is a gorgeously animated meditation on art, love, war, and social responsibility. It's grown-up tone and refusal to answer life's big questions make it so unlike the animated fare we are continually fed in the United States. If I didn't already hold nothing but contempt for the Oscars, I would be furious that it lost to Frozen (2013), which is a cute but underwhelming movie.

Let's hope Disney will release this for the home video market soon. This movie would also make a great double-feature with Porco Rosso (1992), another Miyazaki film concerned with the rise of fascism before WWII, albeit done in a more light-hearted manner.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
vegetarulzagain3 August 2014
I have been watching Studio Ghibli films for only a little over a year. And by now, I have seen more than a dozen films. I have seen films released in 1986 (Laputa) to 2013 (The Wind Rises) and the beauty of the films has not decreased in 27 years. That's a long time to be consistent and I appreciate Studio Ghibli to still be producing films of such quality.

I first watched The Wind Rises just after watching Grave of the fireflies (which is a great movie itself) and therefore could not appreciate the film to that extent. Having recovered from Grave of the fireflies after about 2 weeks, I watched the film again and was astounded. And since then, I have watched the film 3 more times. The magic doesn't seem to fade. Its still there.

And what a soundtrack. It is the best of all Ghibli/Miyazaki Films and whatever credit you give to Joe Hisaishi, it is still less. The music is stuck in my head since then and with the same intensity.

I can not overemphasize the beauty of this film. There are a lot of strong moments, moments which will persist even after a long time. You feel like you have gone back to childhood. There are a lot of themes touched. Love, Sacrifice, Regret, Determination to name a few.

Its more of an experience than a film.

Its a tribute to Flight and Animation and if its to be Mr. Miyazaki's swan song, then it is fitting enough be considered one of his if not the best.

There are not a lot of things you can call beautiful, but this surely is... Great work!!!
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
A Flight of Imagination
kurosawakira19 July 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I'm going to pull out all the stops as I'm trying to verbalize how mightily impressed I am with "Kaze tachinu" (2013), or "The Wind Rises". Miyazaki has now been at the top of his game for well over thirty years, and his latest and apparently last film is remarkable in all the usual modi operandi – luxuriant use and understanding of colour, extraordinary level of detail in even the most mundane-seeming particulars that make the scenes come to life, fantastical sense of the relationship between dreams and imagination and reality, and how the story stems from the images and extends to the world of the creator, and ours.

The film tells the story of Horikoshi Jiro, a genius whose enthusing search for perfection makes him descend the dream-path laid down in his youth. A story of determination, the film is also a profound meditation on the forces of nature: Tokyo destroyed in the earthquake and by fire, the aircraft in shreds and pieces. The influence and inspiration given to Jiro by what only he seems to be able to see around him makes him the visionary that he is.

Airplanes, trains, ships, radiators. The path to advance technology, first by exposure, then by imagination and invention. To be either Achilles, twenty years behind, or the tortoise.

Filmmaking is very much the same: seeing the unseen, imagining that which has not been imagined. This is not compromise or pampering to the lowest common denominator, but art that goes all the way beyond our wildest dreams and is still able to describe the indescribable so lucidly we become enraptured and immediately converted.

All the Miyazakis I've seen have some incredulously indelible moments without compare. Here there are several, including the utterly beautiful dreams, especially the wind, the opening five minutes in full, the remarkable sound design during the dreams and the earthquake, the water, the rain, and the flight.

And speak of the wind! It has personality, it's brilliant and as powerful as in "Ran" (1985), "Zerkalo" (1975) or "The Wind" (1928), in some ways even more so because it's animated in ways impossible to achieve in live action.

And the love that uncharacteristically seems to evade and elude, as it does in Wong Kar-Wai's "Fa yeung nin wa" (2000). She paints, and the picturesque mise en scène and the atmosphere is comparable to "Van Gogh" (1991) and its languorous lushness. Then there's Thomas Mann's "The Magic Mountain" used by Castorp as an allegory for forgetting, yet the novel becomes real through Nahoko's illness and not as a token of forgetting but instead of never forgetting.

And then there's the war. "It flies like a dream", the pilot says, thanking Jiro during the apparent climax of the film, and Miyazaki cuts to a scene of utter destruction, a cemetery of people, ideals, ideas and technology, a disaster not unlike the earthquake in the beginning, yet so tragically unlike.

The name of the film comes from a quotation from Paul Valéry, but refers to Ghibli: the name of the studio but also the engine of the aircraft in "Porco Rosso" (1992). It's a real engine used in an Italian aircraft during World War II, designed by the Caproni seen in the film. In a way, then, this is as natural a conclusion to Miyazaki's career as one could imagine: a flight of imagination, carried by the most powerful wind, and a shared dream of great minds that we are lucky to be invited in.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Most beautiful work of all the beautiful works by Hayao Miyazaki, Studio Ghilibi
skywalkeriit1 July 2014
I am a huge fan of Hayao Miyazaki Movies under the banner of Studio Ghilibi. His movie have always made life much more beautiful. And THE WIND RISES surpasses all his previous work and the whole movie us like a dream, a dream with every second containing beauty, beauty in music, in scenes, in characters and in the story. I am lucky I was born in a generation and able to watch Hayao Miyazaki's work.

His every work is like a dream and in this movie the dreams which protagonist sees inspire any one to his bone. His movies always make me want go to Japan once in a life. The world is much much more beautiful from the eyes of Hayao Miyozaki.

Also the music that his movies have is out of this earth! I want the soundtrack of his movies to play in my brain for whole life. I am not telling what happened in the movies cause it unfair to put his work into words and every one must watch, hear and feel it by themselves and if they don't, well not everyone one can be that lucky.
3 out of 3 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
568th Review: Simply A Beautiful & Moving Film About Love And Flight
intelearts28 June 2014
Kaze tachini (The Wind Rises) contains scene after scene of breathtaking animation - there are extraordinary images simply presented. Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki have over the past forty years produced some of the greatest animated film work of all time. Their films are noted for their non-Disney imagination and creativity. The Wind Rises continues that tradition.

The Wind Rises is the animated biography of Japan's greatest airplane designer: Jiro Hirokoshi. This gives Miyazaki a chance to do stunning flying sequences (and landscapes) as well as other scenes. In keeping with Japan's post-war ethos there are no war scenes, instead the film chooses to look at the earlier life and is really a film about love - and not just love of flying.

I guess I watch a lot of films - it takes a lot for me to feel captivated - this film is captivating, not just visually, it has story, pace, and purpose - and it is clearly from the hand of the extraordinary imagination of Miyazaki.
5 out of 6 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Boring, overrated movie.
hayashimegumi13 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
It's no secret that Mr. Hayao Miyazaki admired aviation since he was a boy and it is awesome that he turned that into an anime movie once again! However, it is unbelievable even for me to write this but honestly, The Wind Rises (2013) is a boring, overrated movie from the renowned Japanese animation studio, Studio Ghibli.

The Wind Rises (2013) has received critical acclaim and has been dubbed as the farewell masterpiece of the award winning director Hayao Miyazaki most likely out of respect or marketing strategies but if we truly analyse it, this piece is much inferior even compared to much lower budget foreign animated features especially in the storytelling department.

If you are expecting an inspiring film, there could be some scenes that are inspiring. If you are sensitive, there could be some elements could upset you. Then, there is a good chance that this will not satisfy you at all if you are looking for a good romantic or drama film and even if this might appeal to those who are genuinely in love with everything aviation or engineering, they might just experience frustration as the whole film seems to be a series of underdeveloped scenes put together.

Despite there are some deep messages in the The Wind Rises (2013), both the storyline and characters are very dull even with decent music and animation. Perhaps this is not intended for everyone and not everyone will enjoy this but as a record, I watch this with an open mind, with genuine interest and patience until the very end; it is sad to report that I believe I am watching a poor attempt at a biographical film filled with the littlest dose of drama, romance and war. A weird and disappointing movie indeed.
13 out of 20 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
Studio Ghibli
ayuppe00312 September 2013
This movie is the latest work of Studio Ghibli. The hero has dream. He really likes airplane when he is young. However, his eyes are not good. So, he becomes the engineer of airplane. He has a best friend. He is also the engineer of airplane. Airplane is the all of him. One day, he meets a woman. She is a destiny. They fall in love and…?

This story is little difficult for me. It is because may be there is a message that I cannot find out I watch it once. I want to watch one more. Of course I can understand this story. However, I think, there is a more message. I like the scene that he and his best friend talk about the airplane. When I watch the scene, I think it is the beautiful that people are absorbed in one thing. I want to find my favorite thing I can forget other things and be absorbed in.

I recommend you this movie. If you watch it, you will want to find your favorite thing.
17 out of 34 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
No Fly Zone
jadepietro4 March 2014
This film is not recommended.

Filmmaker Hayeo Miyazaki's last animated film, The Wind Rises, tells the real-life story of Jiro Horikoshi, an engineer and designer of Japanese fighter planes during World War II. Drawn in the anime style with its stylized detail and realistic backgrounds, the film plays like a historical biography and doesn't shy away from its adult storyline. This is a serious-minded animated film for adults which never panders to a younger audience. There are no happy songs, cute characters, or overblown theatrics involved. There is also no excitement, joy, or any semblance of emotional connection. The heavy-handed story continually weighs the film down even if the film's artistic inventiveness is, at times, buoyant and quite lovely to behold.

Miyazaki's vision is known for his whimsical and other worldly themes as in films like My Neighbor Totoro, Howl's Moving Castle, and Spirited Away. Here he stays mostly grounded in realism due to the screenplay that goes through the paces of this man's life. Whereas in his past efforts, Miyazaki's films were populated with strange creatures in a fascinating surreal world that enchanted viewers with his unique poetic viewpoint, those trademark bizarre and mystical creatures are nowhere to be found.

In The Wind Rises, the acclaimed animator is now tether to the real world with only occasional flights of fantasy in the form of Jiro's dreams to free Miyazaki's creative imagination and engage his audience. His storytelling grounds the film for all the wrong reasons and the film never soars. The film is a disappointment, a film so conventional and boringly told, sidestepping important details about the main character's obsessive work with new models of fighter planes that actually were used at the Pearl Harbor invasion, a fact never mentioned.

A tender love story of Jiro and Nahoko, ably voiced by Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Emily Blunt, becomes a more interesting subplot. But weak voice-over work by an all-star cast nearly sabotages the film. The dialog is barely passable, with too much over-emoting by Mandy Patinkin, John Krasinski, Elijah Wood, William H. Macy, and Jennifer Grey. Even worse are some characters that become racial stereotypes of Italian (Stanley Tucci), German (Werner Herzog), and Japanese ethnic groups, both in tone with the actors' heavy accents and in the physical caricatures as they are artistically rendered. (In fact, one character, Mr. Kurokawa, is so overplayed by Martin Short that it becomes a borderline offensive parody onto itself. (That character is so reminiscent of Mickey Rooney's political incorrect interpretation of I.Y. Yunioshi from Breakfast at Tiffany that I was gobsmacked at its disturbing comparison.)

Artistically, there is so much to admire with the visual look of the film but not much to really get excited about. Besides its sluggish plotting, the film mixes too many styles that just don't mesh very well: detailed hand drawn linear contours with rich pastel colors, painterly watercolor washed settings that create wonderful atmospheric effects, but are impressive computer generated imagery that, nevertheless, is jarringly misapplied. The anime facial features are indistinctive and lacking depth, especially when placed in the real-life environs of the true story being told.

Horikoshi was once quoted to have said, " All I wanted to do was to make something beautiful." Miyazaki has done so with The Wind Rises. The director has crafted a beautiful looking film as his swan song. Too bad the overall effect of the film seemed emotionally inert to me. GRADE: C+

Visit my blog at:

ANY COMMENTS: Please contact me at:
17 out of 35 found this helpful. Was this review helpful? Sign in to vote.
An error has occured. Please try again.

See also

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Recently Viewed