Tuesday, February 25, 2014

I Got Swept Up By The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises is by no means Hayao Miyazaki's strongest film. Not while earlier works like Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle exist. At points I even found myself wondering why he chose to do this animated project (one that easily could have made more sense as a live action piece).
But there was a beautiful heart to this thing. He chose it as his final film for a reason. The Wind Rises must have kept some sentimental pocket in his mind for years because he went seemingly out of his way to make it happen. What surprised me most I suppose was the recognition that this film was about people helping a pretty notorious war effort, but we saw it from their perspective and at no point felt malice for these men. They loved to build planes. The fact that there was a war on only gave them an excuse to build and design more. Essentially, Jirô and Honjô were just creative minds who had to accept the world they were living in, knowing they were powerless to change the bigger picture.
As usual, the art design was spectacular. I could've been watching the movie on mute and still gotten a great deal of joy out of it... though I probably wouldn't advise that.
It's sad to think Miyazaki may never make another motion picture, but he may go out with a bang here. The Wind Rises is nominated for best Animated Feature and while it will have to manage some very stiff competition, I think it has a fair chance to win. Still, Frozen looks like the front runner. And it's not as though Miyazaki is without his share of awards (if you didn't know, he won the Oscar for Spirited Away back in 2003).
I guess all I can do now is hope Hayao Miyazaki decides to come back for one more production. It still feels like there's something left for him to say. Though, sadly, this may just be a pipe dream.

It's in theaters now and definitely worth a watch.

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