Projections - Movie Reviews
With Jim Sabatini

The Wind Rises

The Wind Rises
Voices of:  Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Stanley Tucci and Emily Blunt 

Rated: PG for some disturbing images and smoking.
Reviewed by: Jim  
Release date: February 21, 2014 Released by: Walt Disney Pictures

A penultimate, acclaimed animated film from the extraordinary Hayao Miyazaki (Ponyo, Spirited Away) is a true, more grounded story that will touch the hearts of adults more than their younger counterparts set in pre-World War II Japan.

The Wind Rises (now dubbed in English) done in traditional two-dimensional drawing format with voice talent including Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski and Stanley Tucci has a formidable lyrical, even sublime pulchritude in realizing one's aspirations. Also, the conflict through its more benevolent views towards war and violence from a distraction from a variegated historical perspective by what provides much enjoyment.

A nearsighted boy with whimsical and dispassionate qualities, Jiro Horikoshi loves airplanes but knows piloting isn't in the cards for him. Through his adolescence he follows through on his flights of fantasy to graduate to become an aeronautical engineer, eventually at Mitsubishi. One with quite the creative, radical streak in a bustling, changing world where he'll work on what will turn out to be the Zero (known in 'kamikaze' missions) fighter plane. He's heeded of the tumult on the horizon especially on a political scale.

There's also an affecting romantic side from Miyazaki in Jiro's doomed relationship with tuberculosis-afflicted Nahoko (voiced by Emily Blunt, Krasinski's offscreen significant other) whom he had met earlier in his life and spends time with her in a sanitarium before his 'blind spot' takes over.

What comes through in The Wind Rises inspired by a poem and based on a book is its thoughtful, contemplative aspects from a country beset by war and natural disaster. It may not rise to the mesmerizing heights of the aforementioned Miyazaki opuses maybe struggling at times during the discussions and drawing boards of aviation. Even though it neglects the significance of Jiro's creation (as alluded to a little subconscious conversation with Italian aircraft maker Giovanni Caproni), the generously, talented director's pacifistic, apolitical side is always sweetly rendered with subtle, subliminal grace.

  Frank Chris Jim Dave Nina Sam Howard Jennifer Kathleen  Avg. 
The Wind Rises        B+                     B+ 

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