Sunday, March 20, 2016

ANI-MOVIES, *The Wind Rises

So far intended to be Hayao Miyazaki's grand finale(even though he has officially retired at least twice prior to this), The Wind Rises is a fusion of the life of aeronautics engineer Jiro Horikoshi and a book written by Tatsuo Hori titled The Wind Has Risen. It's not a straight up biopic about Hirokoshi as it adds several fictitious elements to the story. Miyazaki wrote and directed this, and is the latest from Studio Ghibli.

Jiro grows up a young man who dreams of flying, but being nearsighted prevents him from being an ace pilot, so he instead embarks on a career of being an airplane designer. Jiro is strongly influenced by famous engineer Giovanni Caproni, of whom Jiro converses with in his dreams, although whether this is actually going on inside somekind of magical shared dreamscape is left up to the viewer to figure out. He has a chance meeting with a young lady named Naoko during a colossal earthquake that he helps find her way home after their train was damaged. Jiro begins working for the Mitsubishi company(before they started being an international automobile manufacturer)creating aircrafts. He and his friend Kiro Honjo(who created the rejected Falcon plane)travel to Germany to learn how they design their planes, but the two get separated to work on separate projects. While on vacation, Jiro runs into Naoko again years later, and the two end up giving into fate and get engaged, all while Jiro gets his influence for what would become the Zero fighter. Naoka however is suffering from tuberculosis, so she and Jiro quickly get married to make the most of the time they have together. Jiro manages to see his Zero plane completed, despite Japan loosing WWII.

You can really see Miyazaki's love of flight in this movie more than in any of his previous works, and if you look close enough you'll see a cameo by the air pirates from Castie In The Sky. The movie does tend to blend fantasy and reality from time to time, and not just in the dream sequences. It's got the most impressive scenery and character animation from a Studio Ghibli film to date, while still being realistic and not giving too much into otherworldly imagery. The Disney dub is memorable with great performances by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Emily Blunt, Mae Whitman, and most especially Martin Short who steals the show in every one of his scenes. The original Japanese edition oddly enough has Hideaki Anno(the creator of Evangelion)as the main character Jiro, but still pulls off a great act. The Wind Rises has some of the most endearing and heartfelt moments ever seen in an animated feature, which may make it hard to sit through additional screenings without several boxes of tissue.

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