The Wind Rises (Hayao Miyazaki, 2013): Japan

Reviewed by Robin Johansson at the AFI Film Festival, Hollywood.

Have you ever had a dream that was so real and so clear, that when you woke up, you knew exactly what you wanted to do with your life? This is just what happens to the young boy Jiro Horikoshi (Hideaki Anno) in the beautiful movie, The Wind Rises.

Jiro has a dream of flying the skies with an Italian engineer called Caproni and shortly after decides to become an aero engineer. The story makes a leap and picks up at an earthquake where Jiro meets a girl and her maid. He helps them to a safe place, but leaves abruptly.

Jiro begins to work for Mitsubishi, who are competing with a fighter design for the military. Their design loses to one of the rival companies and Jiro gets the opportunity to travel to Germany to do research for the company. Once again their competing fighter design loses and Jiro decides to travel and meets Naoko (Miori Takimoto), the girl he saved in the earthquake.

Jiro is an amazing character. The reason why he’s creating planes is because he wants to create something beautiful, not for his country or the money. He has a pure heart, although he is making killing machines. He does however reflect over the fact that he is making war machines. In one of his dreams Caproni helps him in the moral dilemma by saying “Do you prefer a world with pyramids, or with no pyramids?”.

The Wind Rises is one of the most beautiful films in the film festival for sure, cinematography and story wise. The soundtrack enhances Jiro’s dreamscapes perfectly and is repeatedly used throughout the entire film.

This is one of those movies that make you lose track of time and space, until you suddenly wake up and realize that you have work to do. I would definitely recommend this movie!

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