I had been waiting for a proper moment to watch The Wind Rises. And I finally watched it last month.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
I can’t emphasize my love for Miyazaki enough. I tend to agree vigorously with all the ideals and philosophies portrayed in his films. The world needs more people like him. Naturally, watching his last movie was a sad experience.
The Wind Rises is about the life of Jiro Horikoshi, the aeronautical engineer who designed the infamous Zero fighter planes during World War II. Jiro was driven by his desire of creating beautiful aeroplanes, and the film emphasizes the innocence in the act of following one’s dreams. The war itself is ignored for the majority of the movie but its cold, lingering presence is often felt in the undercurrents. Several hints are dropped throughout about the conflict in Jiro’s mind, such as his expressions of anguish upon witnessing power-dive tests by pilots, which might have been a reference to kamikaze.
The perspective keeps shifting between dreams and reality, and manages to hold onto the old Miyazaki magic, in spite of being a very realistic movie. In his dreams Jiro keeps meeting his role model, Mr. Caproni, who was an Italian aircraft designer. Caproni’s character is masterfully made. He is a personification of Jiro’s own thoughts and aspirations, and motivates Jiro to keep going despite his doubts.
Dreams are convenient. One can go anywhere.
Throughout the film I kept thinking how much I want to be like Jiro. He is an almost flawless, yet a very realistic character. He perfectly defines the type of person I want to be. Another major plus of this movie is the love affair between Jiro and Naoko. It is simple, unpretentious and adorable, and very characteristic of Studio Ghibli.
The ending of the movie hit me hard. It pulls you down to reality with a brief glimpse of the outcome of the war. It is clear that Jiro never found happiness in achieving his life’s dream. The movie was an apt ending to such an illustrious career. None of Miyazaki’s other films describes himself more vividly than The Wind Rises.
Be careful, this may be a dream but you can still lose your head!
Overall, The Wind Rises is a beautiful film and I highly recommend it to anyone reading this.