Fish and Cherries Productions

Creative content from a mad mind.


Reel Snippets – The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises is a beautiful testament to all of Hayao Miyazaki’s finest storytelling devices: slow and steady pacing, beautifully detailed animation, contemplative and soothing atmosphere, and heartwarming moments found in life’s simplicities. Describing the movie is kind of hard because in truth, there’s no real focus. There’s no villain, no problem that needs the entire movie to solve, or really any one genre focus. It just explores ten years in the life of an upcoming aeronautical designer who is trying to make beautiful planes around the time of World War II when the Japanese are demanding fighter planes. The huge selling point really is the atmosphere as the entire film is like a dreamlike nature hike; Jiro, the protagonist, encounters something, dwells on it or solves the problem, and then the movie moves on. It’s not even bound by a strict story structure, like there’s an old German guy that sits by Jiro in a restaurant, says some cryptic stuff, hangs around for a few more scenes, and then just leaves the country, only to be mentioned once afterwards. He’s not even in a third of the movie. Normally, this stuff would drag down other movies, but that doesn’t even matter here because the movie is so beautiful in everything it does. The only downsides are that the pacing can be a bit too slow at times and Joseph Gordon-Levitt sounded really flat as Jiro, like his voice wasn’t expressive enough for voice acting. The entire film leaves the audience with a really heartwarming feeling, even though the ending has a melancholic and tragic undertone (which I don’t think is a spoiler because we should all know by now how the Japanese fared in World War II). If you have to compare it to Miyazaki’s other works, this is more akin to the slice-of-life style of My Neighbor Totoro and Kiki’s Delivery Service rather than the adventure style of Princess Mononoke and Spirited Away. As this is the final film of Miyazaki’s career, I can say that the note he ended on was as high as one of Jiro’s planes.

Posted under Reel Snippets

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