|a good movie made by a master,|
Hayo Miyazaki you dreamer, you've given us some of the most beautiful Creative, and astounding films. "My Neighbor Totoro" was the first of his movies I saw growing up, as well as my first exposure to Japanese animation. I saw "Princess Mononoke" when I was 13 and it blew me away, becoming not only My favorite Miyazaki film, but one of my all time favorite movies period. Since Then I've seen all of his amazing works and found each and every one of them To possess a special kind of movie magic. the kind That even Hollywood in it's Golden age could only hint at, the magic to make your heart soar.
"The Wind Rises" is of course said to be Miyazaki's last feature length Film, making this his swan song. And how unexpected that Miyazaki a filmmaker Best known for his dream like fantasy's, often filled to the brim with all manner of Fantastical characters and whimsical worlds would chose his last film to be an Historical bio pic?. The movie centers almost entirely on Jiro an air plane engineer Who's life is lightly explored in the years that led inevitably and tragically to the second World war.
Jiro was known to have designed the prototype war fighter that would fit Japan's Air Militia with the fearsome Zero fighter. The movie cover these and other Historical Events in Jiro's life, such as the entirely factual earth quake that devastated Tokyo During the 1920s. However the film is not so much a history lesson as it is a bitter sweet parable About the impermanence of beauty and dreams. Indeed although Jiro Horikoshi was a real Person, his story here is a fabrication involving a tender romance with a girl named Naoko Who suffer's from tuberculosis. However the two grow very close during a charming interlude of sorts Where the movie takes on the feel old classical love story.
The Wind Rises is nothing like any of Miyazaki previous efforts. On the one hand I found the subject of Jiro and his era of Japanese history very interesting. On the other hand much of plot felt thin and I couldn't help Getting the sense that this was the wrong material for Myazaki's talents. the animation which always left me breathless with all of his films is still very Impressive here. Yet those fleeting moments in Jiro's dreams of flight, reminded Me that Myazaki's other films had more extraordinary colors and shapes that are Of course appropriately muted somewhat for this film. It's a more dour canvas depicting a more grounded reality. Both the story and period atmosphere were I thought more suited To the style of studio Ghibli's other great talent Isao Takahata known for "Grave of the Fire flies" And "Only Yesterday".
Takahata has just recently directed a film called "The Tale of Princess Kaguya" which is based on an old Japanese folk tale, Called the Bamboo cutter, which is ironic because Myazaki a fantasy filmmaker Seemed like a better choice for that one. The Wind Rises may not have transported me quite like Myazaki's Past works, however this is still unmistakably the work of an auteur, a visionary, this is still Myazaki's movie, it is beautiful, sometimes haunting, And I suspect deeply personal....