Movie Review: THE WIND RISES

Updated: Jul. 21, 2018 at 6:03 AM HST
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THE WIND RISES is an Oscar nominated feature film animation from Hayao Miyazaki, the filmmaker who won an Academy Award for SPRIRITED AWAY. But THE WIND RISES is aimed at adults, not children.

And Miyazaki says that THE WIND RISES will be the last movie he'll ever make. That's a shame because this beautiful movie is clearly the work of an immensely talented artist.

The movie begins with a dream sequence in which the main character, as a young boy, flies his own plane over the countryside where he lives. You can see right away the beauty of the animation, the purity and simplicity of Miyazaki's style. The backgrounds look like paintings.

In another dream the near-sighted Jiro meets the Italian airplane maker, Gianni Caproni who tells the boy that even though poor eyesight will keep him from becoming a pilot, he still can design planes.

Caproni: But remember this, Japanese boy, airplanes are not tools for war. They're not for making money. Airplanes are beautiful dreams. Engineers turn dreams into reality.

The boy's name is Jiro Horikoshi, and he's based on a real person, an aeronautical engineer who designed the Mitsubishi Zero planes, the planes Japanese pilots used in the attack on Pearl Harbor.

The boy Jiro doesn't want to build fighter planes, but as a young man, the only way he can design planes that actually get built is to work for a big company, and if the country is gearing up for war, well, what's a designer to do?

What Jiro does is to concentrate on the beauty of his design and avoid thinking much at all about how the planes will be used.

THE WIND RISES is not just the story of Jiro's work life but also the story of the woman he came to love. He met her on a train just before the 1923 Kanto earthquake and then didn't see her again for ten years.

There are two versions of THE WIND RISES in theaters. Instead of reading subtitles that are translated from Japanese, see the version that's dubbed into English using the voice talents of American actors including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Stanley Tucci, and Emily Blunt.

The English language version shows at 4:35 in the afternoon at Consolidated Ward and at 7 PM at Kahala Mall.

Terry Hunter, Hawaii News Now