Friday, 30 May 2014

Hayao Miyazaki's The Wind Rises (2014) Review

The Wind Rises was a very engaging and moving film with a bittersweet ending, despite the fact I have no specific interest in planes and watched this film on recommendation. Not what I was expecting from the select films I had previously seen by Miyazaki. But then, I’m no die hard fan to make any real comparisons with all of his works. A friend of mine did note this was much more mature in content, how kiss scenes were featured and a very implicit reference to sex. I noticed it was much less whimsical and fantastical in nature compared to Spirited Away and My Neighbour Totoro, (the latter only viewed in part, as I fell asleep). We also watched the dubbed version this time, as opposed to subbed - and the voice acting was better than I expected.

This film was apparently based on a true story and dedicated to an aircraft engineer who was an idol of Miyazaki’s. I found the tender moments in the film were created distressingly well, despite the fact it was animated - I’m sure quite a number of the people in the cinema were crying by the end. Felt a little bit cheated we didn’t see more development in the relationship between Jiro and Nahoko, the ending seemed quite abrupt. But I’m sure all that been garnered from drawing it out, is sadness. This negative feeling seemed to be deliberately (but not so successfully) countered by Caproni’s oddly upbeat last words in the final scene.

Ultimately the film had a… deeply sad resonance, Jiro seemed too absorbed in his work to truly value what time he had left with his fiancĂ©e. As with all Miyazaki's films, The Wind Rises was wonderfully drawn and animated but it was a touching departure from the fantastical nature of his other works. To bring in another recent viewing, there was a similar lack of closure at the end of watching a recent screening of The Name of the Rose. The plot of the film was intertwined with/centred around Adso’s deep feelings for the peasant girl, her survival despite everything, only for him to only leave her behind at the end and never even learn her name. Cue renewed appreciation for cheesy Disney films and happy endings.

Overall rating: 6.5/10
Reviewed by Abigail Lewis

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