Hayao Miyazaki is a name that everybody should know with films such as, Howls Moving Castle, Lupin lll: the Castle of Cagliostro, Princess Mononoke, From Up Poppy Hill and many more. Now viewers get to see his last in final feature length film; The Wind Rises, reviewed Around the Geek style.
The Wind Rises is a fictionalized biography of Jiro Hirokoshi. Jiro dreams of flying, and designing the most beautiful airplanes. He is inspired by famous Italian airplane designer Caproni. Unable to fly a plane himself, because of his near sighted eye sight; he focuses on becoming an engineer. He joins a major engineering company in 1927 and becomes one of the world’s most innovative and accomplished airplane designers. The film goes thru a chronicle of his life, and major moments of Japanese history including; the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923, the Great Depression, the Tuberculosis Epidemic, and Japans plunge into World War II. Jiro then meets the woman he loves, Nahoko, and grows to cherish his best friend and fellow designer Honjo.
Writer and director Miyazaki does an excellent job showing this character’s perseverance and struggle thru a period of particular hardship in Japan. The English cast for this movie could not have been better, Jiro (Joseph Gordon- Levitt), Honjo (John Kransinski), Nahoko (Emily blunt), and many more. With this being Miyazaki’s last film no less could be expected.
Here are the film’s highlights, without giving up any real spoilers. This movie is beautiful. The animation fits perfectly to the story the way it is told. The music sets the tone and the pace for the film, and it is something that I would listen to separately from the movie itself, just to hear again. The movie does an excellent job of weaving so many things together, from romance and history, to showing very vivid detail of Japan before the WWII began. Every voice actor did an excellent job, especially Joseph Gordon-Levitt who demonstrated great restrain with his character’s emotional levels.
The only bad thing that I can say was the level of pacing could have been a little faster. Some parts of the film were a little dragged out, but that was not enough to bog down the movie.
With this being the last Miyazaki film it really breaks my heart to know that I will not see any new animated movies, from such a creative writer and director. He has helped produce some of my all-time favorite movies. With his work complete, it really made me want to go back and collect all of his films and watch them all over again. With that being said, we here at Around the Geek are going to show a tribute to this film by writing this review, and giving it a score of 5 out of 5.