The Wind Rises

If ‘The Wind Rises’ really is the swansong of 73-year-old Japanese animator Hayao Miyazaki (‘Spirited Away’, ‘My Neighbour Totoro’), it’s both a fitting and an uneasy one. On the surface, it’s a loose biopic of Jiro Horikoshi, inventor of the Mitsubishi A6M Zero fighter plane – tracing his journey from daydreaming boy to unwitting cog in the Japanese 1940s war machine.

Yet there’s autobiography here too: in showing us a maverick genius in single-minded pursuit of his art, the film validates Miyazaki’s independent path taken outside Japan’s corporate culture. The fact that these planes were used to devastating effect by the Japanese navy during WWII is skated over (causing controversy in Japan).

Politics aside, ‘The Wind Rises’ caps Miyazaki’s career with the most glorious animation yet produced by Studio Ghibli. Practically every frame is exquisitely detailed, while an earthquake sequence is a knockout. The real-life Horikoshi defended his inventions by claiming that he ‘just wanted to make something beautiful’. Now, with this ravishing film, the veteran animator has succeeded in doing the same.

Which is just as well, because otherwise the film offers little comfort to many Miyazaki fans. In place of cuddly critters and zany fantasy set pieces, we’re given disasters, bombs and melancholy.

What ‘The Wind Rises’ shares with Miyazaki’s other films is a preoccupation with ageing and the loss of innocence. It’s a dark, disturbing, deeply moving full stop to a glittering career.

Release details

Release date: Friday May 9 2014
Duration: 126 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Hayao Miyazaki

Average User Rating

3.5 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:3
  • 4 star:4
  • 3 star:4
  • 2 star:3
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|14
13 people listening
Zohra J

So old school! With the flickering stationary people, rivers of tears and overcoats flapping behind running figures, is like not a day has passed since I was watching Japanese animation with Arabic subtitles on Channel 2 in Riyadh. Thankfully, subtitles in English this time. Watch but only for the nostalgia

BARBARA S

Great movie, a piece of art really with fantastic visuals. Meaningful and moving story line. It was so good that I would like to see it again.

Ev W

B. wilson

outstanding animation booring in terms of subject.

 My interest shifted in and out trying to read sub titles 

Did not find the story flowing and taking me along with it.

Far longer than it need to be and too disjointed to be capturevating

Dave S

Mesmerising, beautiful, stunning animation.  Darker and less fantastical than the usual Studio Ghibli but gripping storyline as well as beautifully animated. To this die hard Studio Ghibli fan this film was a joy.  Was delighted when a cheer went up when the Japanese version with English subtitles was announced, the added authenticity of the Japanese voices tranports you to the land of the rising sun.

Laura H

Still can't get over how engrossing this was on the big screen! I've seen his earlier works and this definitely feels like a departure from the fantastical elements of previous films, but that doesn't stop it from being completely mesmerising and altogether brilliant. 

The visuals are still stunning and his method of storytelling is compelling and emotive, conveying a farewell of sorts and demonstrating a wisdom learnt through experience. It does start to feel a bit long towards the end but even so I'd still recommend seeing it on a larger screen to experience the animation in full.

Chloe  M

I didn't see the English dubbed version unfortunately- I was expecting it to be, but it was only subtitled so it was slightly harder work to follow. However, the animation is really good and the characters totally believable. I did find it too long though and although it's a lovely story I lost interest in the last half an hour. If you enjoy this Japanese style of animation then you'll probably love it.

JOSE SA P

It is not a "do not miss it", but it's a well spent time.   very nice technically,  a simple story,  calling for your emotions...  won't get into measuring the film and commenting on more or less 15 minutes.   enjoyed the way it is

Y1

Stunning in terms of the animation but the story itself was dull unless you are interested in aeronautical engineering - and the film was too long- could have been cut by half to deliver the same story- even the story of TB ridden fiancee failed to evoke much emotion. This will be disappointing for those expecting another 'Spirited away' of which I was one.

Hibi

This is a beautiful film with the most incredible innocence to it. Such a gentle touch to this film, taking you through so many emotions. A real exploration of the heart. 

Gemma L

A beautiful Sayonara from Studio Ghibli's Hayao Miyazaki, more serious subject matter than you'd expect from Totoro's creator but lovely nonetheless. Amazing visuals and storytelling but it is a little long as previous reviewers have noted.


Beautiful movie with an interesting historical story that I knew nothing about before and found very thought provoking.  Stunning earthquake scene and the dream sequences were very lyrical.  Agree it could have been edited to a shorter time and it would have been nice to have the German also subtitled in English.

PCW

This film was pretty long and some pretty indulgent shots of scenery. I like a wide range of genres, but i've got to say Japaneese amination is probably towards the bottom of the list. Regardless of style the plot was a bit predictable and therefore I couldn't get very emotionally involved with it. But it's a nice enough story, if you forget it's about an arms race during the second world war. The earthquake scene is pretty cool though and the sound affects they use throughout the film are amazing. If you're a fan of Hayao Miyazaki i'm sure you'll love it, but too long for me.

Samantha P

I would say this film was at least 30 minutes too long. However, this was a beautiful story set in a very interesting time. Nice visuals, as usual.

The Man on the Street

Just got home from Time Out Card screening. Really surprised by this film. Only found out this evening that it was in Japanese with English subtitles. Normally enough to have me going for the off button, or running for the pub. So glad I did neither. Enjoyed just about everything - although it could have been 15 minutes shorter. If it had been , I would be posting 5 stars.