The Wind Rises Review – A Spectacle To Behold

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Posted June 3, 2014 by Kevin Pourmostofi in Movies
The Wind Rises - "Hayao Miyazaki's Farewell Masterpiece."

The Wind Rises – “Hayao Miyazaki’s Farewell Masterpiece.”

As the opening credits rolled out and I saw the iconic “Studio Ghibli” logo that I have come to love over the years, I knew that “The Wind Rises” was going to be great. For, you see, Studio Ghibli has graced us with some of Miyazaki’s, and to an extent Anime’s, most iconic films: “My Neighbor Totoro”, “Spirited Away”, and “Princess Mononoke” come to mind. However, this movie strayed from the supernatural elements of “Spirited Away ” and the such.

In the beginning, its hero is a young, studious boy named Jiro Horikoshi, blinking benignly behind thick round spectacles; he is obsessed by airplanes and the wonder of flight.  One of its early scenes is quintessential Miyazaki; Jiro climbs on to the roof of his house, where a tiny plane is lodged. He somehow takes off in it, and soars above the Japanese countryside. You feel his giddy sense of exhilaration.  But then the skies darken; clouds, patterned with images of dropping bombs, appear. He plummets towards the Earth. His simple, canvas plane is no match for the advanced, all metal death machines.  Jiro awakes; it was a dream, and not a happy one.

The opening scene of “The Wind Rises” is one of the most profoundly simple yet effective openings I have seen in a while. For, you see, Jiro dreams of flying. In one particular scene, he runs home and tells his mother that he wants to be an “aeronautical engineer”.  It is this childish innocence that is captured in each of Miyazaki’s films that add a breath of fresh air to them.

We skip forward to when Jiro has grown older and is now a young man on a train. He beckons for a woman to take his seat when he leaves. This is the character that Jiro has developed. Steadfast and polite – a credit to those around him. The train is then derailed by an earthquake, leaving people injured, dazed and confused. Yet Jiro stands tall and, once he has co-ordinated himself, looks to help others. He sees two ladies, one of them, called Naoko, has broken their leg and Jiro escorts her  home. As well as the main story, there’s a love story that runs parallel to this main narrative. Jiro and Naoko meet each other years later, fall in love and marry. But she has tuberculosis and her health gradually declines.

We now see Jiro for what he is. A young man who is now an aeronautical engineer. Yes. He made it. We see that he worked incredibly hard to achieve his goal and to get to where he is. We feel proud and happy for his success.

The whole story is tinged with sadness, however. This is probably the last time we, as an audience, will be graced with Miyazaki’s genius storytelling and beautiful animation.

I won’t tell you the ending or the events leading up to the ending, as I believe that you need to see it yourself to fully understand and appreciate the scope and beauty of this masterpiece of Miyazaki.

The whole story is tinged with sadness, however. This is probably the last time we, as an audience, will be graced with Miyazaki’s genius storytelling and beautiful animation. Overall, “The Wind Rises” is a breath of fresh air and a refreshing movie that will leave you wanting more of Miyazaki’s talents.


About the Author

Kevin Pourmostofi

A Canadian Film Buff, Kevin is in love with the works of Ingmar Bergman, Jean-Luc Godard and Charlie Chaplin, amongst many others. He can usually be found reading books on the cinema or watching films. Oh yeah, he plays some video games and reads some comics too. He can be found on PSN or Twitter at Momoguy123.