DVD Wholesale Quick Overview:
Bottom Line first: Easily one the best movies I have ever seen. I had been a Miyazaki fan since Spirited Away. But this movie as made Miyazaki collector out of me. This is a beautiful, poignant, intelligent and uplifting movie. While Spirited Away is a movie experience every parent should share with their children; The Wind Rises is one everyone can enjoy. There is some violence, not esp graphic, no bad language and some topics may be tricky for the very young there is no reason why this cannot be a cherished family movie night experience.
More than the mere story-line, this s a beautiful, and beautifully made movie. So much so I hesitate to say more than:
Miyazaki and the artists at Studio Ghibli hand draw and color some of the most beautiful art quality animation anywhere.
Our story begins by establishing Jiro as a good person with good values and a life-long passion for flying. He has poor eyesight, so becoming a pilot is not in his future. He is a natural, and imaginative engineer instead he becomes an aircraft designer. In this he is inspired by a dream based relationship he has with his hero Caprioni, full name, Giovanni Battista Caproni, 1st Count of Taliedo a real and famous Italian aircraft designer.
The time is the Japan the years following the Great Earthquake of 1923. It is this earthquake that so brilliantly begins the movie. If you are going to be an aircraft designer in Japan your best hope for a job will be designing war machines. In fact The Wind Rises is the fictionalized real story of Dr. Jiro Horikoshi the designer of the (among others) the Mitsubishi A6M Zero. One of the most effective fighter planes of WWII. The tension between this otherwise gentle and good hearted man and the events that led him into building killing machines begs the viewer to think about this movie long after watching it.
Some will argue that Miyazaki sugar coats life in Japan under near military dictatorship. Others will point out that we never see the horrible things Japan did to people in invaded countries. Jiro does become a suspicious person and is hunted by the Japanese Secret Police, but he is ‘hidden’ and protected by his employers. In sum these are legitimate objections but they would not have been part of Jiro’s daily awareness. In other word these much harder questions belong in another movie.
More central to the movie is the relation between Jiro and his wife. Their marriage is a central theme in this movie. Much of this is fictional and does not represent the actual events of the real Horikoshi.
So far this is the last movies that filmmaker Hayao Miyazaki says he will direct. He has retired about six times to date so we can still hope.
A beautiful, poetic film that is a quiet tragedy: a balance between love and work. Full of the threat of war in the background, yet affirms life. “You must live!” says the film. Yet another masterpiece by Miyazaki, this one shows his creative process, and again his obsession with airplanes. Seemingly based on historical persons, he blends dreams with reality; sometimes we don’t know if Giro is dreaming or if it is a real-life experience. Often he seems to share dreams with his hero/mentor Caprone, so the dreams seem more like he has stepped into another dimension shared by Caprone.
The politics of the time in Japan and Germany is kept in the background, but occasionally manifests when the secret police look for Giro. However, why went after him is never explained as Giro seems to be a loyal citizen throughout, designing planes for the government.
The film has a mature sadness about it, yet it is also dreamlike in the life and love of Giro — his love for tubercular artist and his love for airplanes. He dreams of airplanes and these provide him with a sense of wonder and joy. Yet he is able to function in the real world as an engineer — a brilliant designer — who impresses his bosses with his genius. While an engineer, he also has the personality of a dreamy artist.
One problem with the film is that it is difficult to know when he is in Japan or Germany. There were references to the Magic Mountain, and a German character singing in German, yet I believe they were in Japan at the time, near a sanitarium for TB patients. Yet other times Giro was clearly in Germany, trying to examine German planes.
The earthquake of Tokyo portrayed in the film was interesting, especially showing how the ground heaved and how the train rode out the earthquake. The film was very human, though an animated cartoon, for it showed fully developed characters and gave glimpses of a wider civilization of Japan between the world wars, and how the people lived at that time.
I have always loved Miyazaki’s films, they have always been the most superlative of animated films, and while this was more grounded in historic Japan, it still had fantasy scenes. His films are always wonderful and a joy to watch, things of beauty.
– Mark K. Rempel
DVD Wholesale Main Features :
Actors: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, John Krasinski, Emily Blunt, Martin Short, Stanley Tucci
Format: Multiple Formats, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
Language: Japanese (Mono), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
Subtitles: English, French
Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: PG-13 Parents Strongly Cautioned
Studio: STUDIO GHIBLI
DVD Release Date: November 18, 2014
Run Time: 135 minutes