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TIFF 2013 Review: The Wind Rises

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The Wind Rises
Special Presentation

The Wind Rises is the last film by Hayao Miyazaki, and also one of his best. Removed from the realm of fairy tale, this final film focuses on the creative pursuits of real-life engineer Jiro Horikoshi in industrializing Japan during World War 2. Horikoshi, who designed the aircraft Mitsubishi A5M, resembles Miyazaki’s boundless imagination that invented monumental achievements like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke.

This film is about a man of experience and innovation, just like the sage Miyazaki who released his first animé feature Castle of Cagliostro in 1979. The Wind Rises is also full of images so vividly original and evocative of the time period. The film is dense with historical details and wrapped up in a moment when Japan raced against the Allies to lead in the most highly developed fighter aircrafts.

Jiro is a sure-footed, modest, and intelligent working man whose fascination with airplanes span as far into his wildest dreams. This is his true skill, and the story is etched by Jiro’s remarkable journey “to make something beautiful”, as the real Horikoshi put it. We also witness his relationship with his lovely but terminally ill wife, wily sister, and stumpy and grumpy boss – all very funny and deeply moving.

The story emits the kind of gentleness and humanity Miyazaki is known for. His visuals are perfectly organized, idyllic, and atmospheric. The Wind Rises is not a “cute” movie for kids either; it’s a mature and touching film about love, history, courage, and invention – the ingredients of all Miyazaki’s film at their peak.

[star v=45]