Hatchet reporter Tim Palmieri shares his latest movie experience.
Loosely based on real events, a young boy living in pre-World War II Japan named Jiro Horikoshi (Joseph Gordon-Levitt) dreams of being a pilot. Over time, Jiro grows to love building airplanes for their elegance, but realizes they are ultimately instruments of destruction. As ethics are questioned and Japan struggles through the film, Jiro must have faith in himself in order to create a masterpiece for the fulfillment of his life and his country.
The complexity of “The Wind Rises” makes it rich with symbolism, controversy and inspiration from the inventive sequences to the historical depictions of Japan.
Anri Yasuda, assistant professor of Japanese at GW, remembers watching Miyazaki’s films growing up and has always admired his ability to encapsulate realistic humanity in animation, something that “The Wind Rises” highlights in every scene.
“The unique power of Miyazaki’s works lies in how these plausible people and worlds mesh with more magical elements,” Yasuda said. “This more humanist approach has been inspiring new generations of manga and anime works, alongside the continuing popularity of more fantasy-laden and stylistically extreme works.”
The attention to detail and the various lighting effects pull audiences deeper into the experience. Composer Joe Hisaishi’s enchanting soundtrack fits the delicate animation perfectly.
Characters in the film are flowing with personality and realism because of the excellent voice cast. Gordon-Levitt as Jiro fits the persona of a quiet, intelligent, gentleman and Emily Blunt channels the emotional impact needed behind the young traveler Naoko. Martin Short is humorous as Jiro’s boss Kurokawa and lends himself to some of the film’s lighter moments. Additional recognizable names, like John Krasinski and Stanley Tucci, contribute to the enjoyment of the film by rounding out a diverse cast of characters.
Minor pacing issues prevent the film from attaining perfection, although these are hardly a detriment to the overall experience. Coming off of numerous classics such as “Spirited Away” and “Howl’s Moving Castle,” Miyazaki has once again proven his legacy in the industry with this majestic bittersweet film.
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
Genre: Animated, Historical, Fantasy, Adventure
Cast: Joseph Gordon Levitt, Emily Blunt, John Krasinski
Release Date: February 28, 2014
Watch if you liked: Spirited away, Princess Mononoke, Castle in the Sky, Howl’s Moving Castle