I absolutely wanted to love this film, but even with tons of things to like, I don't feel the heart, blood and sweat that usually seem to go into Ghibli movies. It felt by-the-books, pleasure-less, unexciting. I was bored.
I feel the need to contrast the existing reviews, in particular Carlos' 3/10 rating. I've wrapped the rest of this in spoiler tags for anyone who wants to go in completely blind, but I don't think anything written in my comment should ruin the film.
This film isn't meant to be a documentary, nor is it a faithful adaptation of The Wind Has Risen. Instead, it draws narrative elements from several places, and I think the end result is an excellent story. It's misguided, in my opinion, to critize the film for a lack of "accuracy" when this was never the film's intention.
I can understand that one would have misgivings about a piece of Japanese media portraying WWII or related topics, but in no way does this film endorse Japan's actions. Having watched The Kingdom of Dreams and Madness, Miyazaki's views on this topic are (to the extent that I'm familiar with them) entirely respectable. He appears to me to be a pacifist, and isn't himself entirely comfortable with his own admiration of the Zero planes' design due to their usage in the war.
The "controversy" section of the movie's wikipedia article does a good job summing up why I find it hard to consider this movie "nationalist" or anything like that. Quoted as of 2019-01-13:
"In Japan, The Wind Rises received criticism from both the political right and from the Japan Society for Tobacco Control. Miyazaki added to the controversy by publishing an article in which he criticized the proposal by Japan's centre-right Liberal Democratic Party to change the Constitution of Japan, which irritated nationalists. Some commentators were unhappy that a warplane engineer was the film's protagonist.
In an interview with the Asahi Shimbun, Miyazaki said he had "very complex feelings" about World War II since, as a pacifist, he felt militarist Japan had acted out of "foolish arrogance". However, Miyazaki also said that the Zero plane "represented one of the few things we Japanese could be proud of – [Zeros] were a truly formidable presence, and so were the pilots who flew them"."
Speaking as a person who enjoys engineering feats and especially those related to aviation, I was sure I was going to love The Wind Rises. After loving the planes in Porco Rosso, my first Studio Ghibli's movie and my favorite so far, I had confidence in Miyazaki ability to portray what goes in designing a plane. And he even exceeded my expectations! You can truly tell that the japanese director is an aviation nerd and lover.
The movie goes back and forth from reality and dreaming, almost seamlessly and with such graceful transitions that it really feels like the whole thing is a dream inside Jiro's head. In the best possible way. The plot itself isn't particularly rigid and it flow very well from one thing to another, from reality to dream, from Jiro's work to his personal life. It's not a story that grips you because you want to know what happens next. It's more like cloud watching; you're just there, watching which shape will come next, with no expectations about it, without worrying how it ties with the previous shape.Even though it's set during the years of World War Two, the movie doesn't endorse Japan's actions during it. Really the war is basically a footnote of the whole thing. It's more like a plot point to bring the viewer to what really matter: the design of the plane and what it means for the protagonist.
I don't have much to say about the visuals. They are very on brand for Studio Ghibli. Perfectly done, with their unique style. Much like in Porco Rosso, the planes and the engines that power them, feel alive. It's not a photorealistic style, but it's absolutely gorgeous, vivid and full of life.
I loved the sound design. A lot of them were made by a human mouth, I feel like. Especially in the dream sequences, it really added to the feeling of being in fantasyland.
Overall, a great movie, which I would recommend to anyone, but especially to those that like aviation and/or are fans of Studio Ghibli's style of animation. A wonderful mix of gorgeous visuals and poetry.
Studio Ghibli gets serious in this romanticized take on avionic design at the dawn of the second world war. Engineering might seem a strange subject for animation, and at times it is, but in typical fashion the studio delights in writing their own rules and somehow coming out ahead.
In the same way that recent big-budget live action cinema has been trying to draw inspiration from animation's more fantastical elements, it seems that The Wind Rises borrows its mundane, grounding elements from reality. Detail has always been a calling card for Miyazaki's efforts, and here the old master has again outdone himself. The screen is flooded with life, with even the least remarkable background extra, almost-inanimate object, or stunning, towering cloudscape enjoying an unusual amount of motion and character - notes clearly taken from live action.
There's no shortage of the studio's usual breathtaking flights of fancy and wonder, either, but now they're tempered by that basis in reality. And, in a way, that makes them even more special. Dreams intertwine with lucidity so casually, it's tough to identify the moments of transition. The plot is less rigid than one might expect, too, strolling along at its own pace and lazily floating from one decade to the next. That makes it less gripping than the standard Ghibli effort, but we're invested in different ways.
Gorgeous, poetic, relaxing, inspiring, warm and funny and bittersweet; it's not at all what I expected, and no competition for Totoro or Mononoke or Spirited Away, but it's not trying to be.
Beautiful, heart-warming and tragic events entwined in this amazing movie - a true Miyazaki, nothing less.
¿Quién ha visto el viento? Ni tú ni yo lo hemos visto, pero el viento sopla y hace que tiemblen las hojas.Que el viento haga vibrar estas alas para llegar a ti.
A good final effort by Miyazaki which, while well-made with some very nice moments, ultimately suffered because of its subject matter; there's a limit to how interesting you can make a film about a guy who wants to make really nice planes.
A bit different Ghibli, this biopic of Jiro Horikoshi. Since I'm not that much of a huge fan of some fantasy Ghiblis I apprectiated the story telling a lot. Didn't like the movies such as Ponyo but could also miss some of the fairytale element from Porco Rosso or Monoke. But it was a pleasant sidestep: the chemistry between Jiro and Nanoko was amazing, havent felt a romantic plot this much for a whole and it was heartbraking to see. I also liked the hommage to the avation part, you could tell Miyazaki was a great fan of airplanes in general, but the Zero even more, even when theyre sort of the pyramids of that time. Great movie!
A touching picture...
Wonderful film. Feels like a spiritual successor to Grave Of The Fireflies.
So... this will officially be the last film from Miyazaki. I'm certain it won't be long for Takahata to join him :(.http://www.animenewsnetwork.com/news/2013-09-01/hayao-miyazaki-to-retire-from-making-feature-films