Madeline Sheppard-Marvin

Hayao Miyazaki, an extremely successful Japanese film director, animator, illustrator, producer, and screenwriter, internationally released his final film The Wind Rises, on February 28th of this year.

This visually stunning movie follows Jiro Horikoshi, a young man living through WW2 with dreams of becoming an aeronautical engineer.  The audience follows the triumphs and struggles of Horikoshi, dubbed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt, as he tries to pursue his passion while maintaining a relationship with his ailing wife.

Miyazaki holds true with his work, creating an elaborate world in which his characters reside.  Intricate details are painstakingly placed in each scene which is even more impressive given that each is hand drawn.  His animation techniques provide an authentic look which is a refreshing change from modern computer-generated animated movies.

The difference in this film from Miyazaki’s other work is that the plot in The Wind Rises is closer to historical fiction.  Miyazaki has been made famous for his mystical worlds, but his last film breaks the pattern.  Miyazaki’s past movies all carry the subtle message of anti-war, but The Wind Rises clearly delivers this message in a more factual setting.

The Wind Rises holds its own, but also possess the ability to fit in with Miyazaki’s other films.  Understanding and appreciating the delicate intricacies in the movie comes more easily once his previous work is seen.  Those who are new to Miyazaki movies can still enjoy The Wind Rises, but finding the messages woven throughout the film is aided by viewing those such as  Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind and Castle in the Sky.

Miyazaki’s most successful movie to date is Spirited Away, which, along with The Wind Rises, is not to be missed.

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