“Le vent se lève. Il faut tenter de vivre.”
The Wind Rises (風立ちぬ)
Director: Hayao Miyazaki
I’ll admit it. I have a soft spot for any Studio Ghibli film made by Hayao Miyazaki and I know I’m not alone in this. The inescapable fact that this is his final work continues to haunt me. Maybe that’s why I just can’t bring myself to rate it higher. I feel like my heart’s been ripped out, trampled on by a herd of giraffes, devoured, and finally pooped out by a koala. Eventually I’m going to have to accept the fact that it’s time to move on. But today is not that day.
Before you watch this film, you should know that it is not as action-packed as the likes of “Spirited Away” or “Howl’s Moving Castle”. No, I’d say it has more in common with “From Up on Poppy Hill” or “The Secret World of Arietty” in that it moves at a slower pace. This does not, however, diminish its value in any way.
As a bibliographical film, the focus is on the life of Jiro Horikoshi (1903-1982), designer of the Japanese fighter planes (Mitsubishi A5M AKA “Zero” planes) during World War II. Alongside his growth as an inventor is the heart-wrenching love story between him and Naoko Satomi.
I highly recommend this movie to all die-hard Studio Ghibli fans. Even if you’re not one, you should watch it anyway because I say so. The amount of detail and care put into every scene is astounding. Visually arresting and tear-jerking; even the toughest of you won’t help but weep silently. I know that it made me tear up at least four times, reducing me to a blubbering mess.
You should watch it because it’s the “farewell masterpiece” of an award-winning director. I don’t know how I’m going to survive knowing I’ll never get a new Miyazaki film. His works have captured the hearts of people all over the world and I do not doubt that his creations will continue to inspire and amaze millions even after he has put down pen and paper.
Which Studio Ghibli film is your favorite?