[critical] THE WIND RISES

“The wind rises… we must attempt to live” the words of the poet Paul Valéry from the graveyard by the sea, and preserved here in their original language, come to be marked on the eleventh and final animated film of the japanese director Hayao Miyazaki, THE WIND RISES, which tells the story of Jiro Horikoshi, an engineer japanese who created the famous fighter Mitsubishi A6M Zero, since his dreams of the child in front of the aircraft of Caproni, an aeronautical engineer, Italian of the beginning of the 20th century, his first creations while he is working in Mitsubishi. Addressing the biography of the one who revolutionized the aerospace industry in japan until the beginning of the Second world War, Miyazaki offers the opportunity to retrace a few decades that have marked the history of his country but also the world : the Kanto earthquake in 1923, epidemics and diseases, military power of Germany… It renews here its kind away yet radically from his previous works.

Since THE CASTLE OF CAGLIOSTRO (1979) up to PONYO ON THE CLIFF (2008), each of the films of Hayao Miyazaki transports him into a world of imagination and fantasy, inhabited by strange characters with extraordinary powers (THE VOYAGE OF CHIHIRO in 2001, for example). Very creative, the director displays his penchant for the air (CASTLE IN THE SKY in 1986 or even THE moving CASTLE in 2004). These worlds created from scratch, leave the beautiful part in a fantasy without boundaries and the imagination of the director is deploying resources, always unexpected. With THE WIND RISES, the universe is very realistic, Hayao Miyazaki makes a dramatic shift. It persists in spite of all of the bits of magic and fantasy into the dreams of the young Jiro : the sequences where he meets his idol Caproni remain a pretext to create a parallel world of all possibilities where the developer can play his way to make sure his characters on the wings of a plane in flight, for example. The passage from the real world to the other world, is well marked. There are also still zany characters and comical : Kurosawa, boss nagging, of the firm, Mitsubishi, and Kayo, little sister, abandoned by Jiro, are like the last survivors of the characters childish that Miyazaki was able to create it as in the touching PONYO ON THE CLIFF (2008). The love story processed in parallel where Jiro is in love with Nahoko, a painter suffering from tuberculosis, and brings some softness to the central theme of the film is austere in the first place. Encircling the two lovers, the wind rises and the wild are treated with a lot of poetry and, by colorist extraordinaire, Miyazaki gives heart to joy. The vast plains of Japan and offers him a wide range of possibilities. But Miyazaki, quickly caught up by the concerns biographical sketches of his subject, is here far from the film naive and pure children’s animation that he likes and, turning her mangas into a movie (THE WIND RISES stems from manga aimed at older readers), address – a little in spite of himself – to an audience more adult.

With THE WIND RISES, to the universe very realistic, Hayao Miyazaki makes a dramatic shift.

The themes of aviation and of the period between the two wars, already present in PORCO ROSSO (1992) are here treated in a much more mature and serious. Throughout its history, which imposes a vision almost didactic about the beginnings of aviation, Miyazaki shows his mastery of the subject by making a meticulous inventory of bombers and fighter planes of the time and talks about real issues. It is the realism that prevails : the spectator is caught up in this world between the two world wars where the vast machine of destruction is in the works. Jiro will fabricate engines of war, and not for the simple pleasure of travel in the air. A duality is established in the film where the sky appears to be both hopeful and threatening. The Japan of the period is struck by the misery and Miyazaki does not skimp on the means implemented to render an account of this cataclysm ambient : speed of images, sound effects are used to the shock of the earthquake of Kanto in 1923 or even deafening noise of aircraft engines. He performs here a turn of the master, managing to almost make us forget that it is a cartoon. The hustle and bustle of the city, of the crowd, the panoramas downwelling are tableaux vivants, and demonstrate the talent and craft of the films of Miyazaki’s that can easily compete with the images of synthesis.

It follows a beautiful – but long – film that, devoid of the artifices of the current technology (the sound effects are made by human voices), it remains a film testament where Miyazaki says his passion for drawing and planes. It feels a Miyazaki deeply affected and haunted by war, but also by the illness of his mother, suffering from tuberculosis like his character Nahoko (a theme already present in MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO in 1988). The darkness that emanates from the WIND RISES remains unusual in his filmography, and also witnessed all the disappointments, the fears and injuries of a lifetime.



Inspired by the famous designer of aircraft Giovanni Caproni, Jiro dreams of flying and creating beautiful airplanes. But his poor eyesight prevents him from becoming a pilot, and he was employed in the department of aeronautics of a major engineering firm in 1927. His genius quickly becoming one of the greatest engineers in the world.

The Wind rises tells a large part of his life and portrays the historical events keys that have profoundly influenced the course of its existence, including the earthquake of Kanto in 1923, the Great Depression, the tuberculosis epidemic and Japan entered the war. Jiro will know the love with Nahoko and friendship with his colleague Honjo. Inventor extraordinary, it will bring aviation into a new era.

Original title : Kaze Tachinu

Achievement : Hayao Miyazaki

Scenario : Hayao Miyazaki

Voice original : Hideaki Anno, Miori Takimoto, Hidetoshi Nishijima, Masahiko Nishimura, Stephen Alpert, Morio Kazama, Keiko Takeshita, Mirai Shida, Jun Kunimura, Shinobu Ôtake, Mansai Nomura

Country of origin : Japan

Output : January 22, 2014

Duration : 2h6

Distributor : Walt Disney Company France

Trailer :

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