The Wind Rises – Movie Review

The Wind RisesThe Wind Rises – PG-13
Release Date: Fri 28 Feb 2014

The Wind Rises is a gorgeous new animated film from celebrated Japanese Studio Ghibli and director/writer Hayao Miyazaki (Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke.) It’s a must-see for adult Ghibli fans, and probably most historical drama fans as well. Children likely won’t find much beyond the visuals to hold their attention in this particular story.

What surprised me most about this film was its historical narrative that is laser-focused on Jiro, the engineer who designed the Zero planes and the movie’s consistent, methodical pacing. Studio Ghibli films tend to run on the longer side (126 minutes here) and some tend to have periods that focus on a less interesting character or a lull in the action. This film never feels like it’s speeding along; rather the pace is closer to reading the story or a graphic novel rather than what I’m used to in a film.

There’s also a great deal of detachment and disconnection from the events of World War II. Yes, the movie is about the designer of the planes flown by the famous Kamikazes, but it’s not about the war itself, battles or politics. Instead the focus is on a story rooted in the central theme of finding a way to live no matter what life throws your way.

Dave, Zak and I saw it in the theater together and recorded a discussion in the car afterward:


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