*This article contains spoilers*
Out of all the nominated films, coincidently I’ve invested my movie tickets to watch animated movies. It pains me to say this possibility; however, Frozen (by the way, I did watch it) might win the Oscar although The Wind Rises has a superior story and an audacious mixture of 2D blended with 3D. Yet, if it was up to me, Miyazaki deserves the award because the film brings to life many emotions that could easily be done with human actors – in other words, the film would work in any form of reincarnation if executed as Miyazaki presented to us.
Now, The Wind Rises openly narrates a time during the young life of Jiro Horikoshi (Gordon-Levitt). As a young child, Jiro wanted to become a pilot, but he cannot do this dream because he wears glasses. Still, this did not detain his goal because he followed the footsteps of his hero, Caproni and pursues a degree in engineering.
Years later, an older Jiro is returning to the University of Tokyo after a holiday break. During this train ride, he survives a horrible earthquake where he meets his future wife, Naoko, but their story develops years later. In the meantime, Japan is rebuilding after the earthquake. Then a glim of light occurs, Jiro and his college friend, Honjo (Krasinski) obtains a job despite of the economic crisis in the country. Both men head to an interesting assignment in Germany to learn about the latest German aeronautics technology. Their visit is successful and stressful because the German soldiers were apprehensive to show their aircrafts to the men. In reality, they feared the Japanese would improve their design. As time passed by, Jiro is send elsewhere in Japan where he reunites with an older Naoko (Blunt). At first, he didn’t recognize her because the last time he saw her, she was a teenager. Their affinity is mutual which leads to an engagement.
Although their love is fruitful, Naoko has tuberculosis and she wants to marry him after she feels better. Because of the time period the story takes place, Naoko’s health does not improve. She goes to a sanatorium to heal. Suddenly, Naoko calls Jiro because she wants to spend the rest of her life with him. As a result, they have an impromptu wedding, since Jiro’s boss did not want to have an unmarried couple living under his roof.
While Jiro’s career lives trial and errors, his friend, Honjo share the same vision – they want to create beautiful planes, but not bomber planes; however, as stated many times in the film, creating planes is a blessing and a curse. Months later, Jiro’s younger sister (who is a doctor) visits him. She has mixed feelings about Jiro’s marriage. She likes Naoko very much and because she likes her new sister-in-law, she knows her health is deteriorating; nonetheless, Jiro stands strong and stays with his wife knowingly what will happen in the future.
Towards the end of the film, Jiro survives success and sadness at once. His plane, Mitsubishi A5M tests triumphantly for the first time. Then, there’s a silent gust signaling Naoko’s death. At the end of the movie, Jiro dreams about Caproni and his wife, Naoko. In his conversation with Caproni, they say that creating planes is like the pyramids. Every creation has a price, at the same time; no one can control the destiny of these creations. His goal was to create planes and he achieved that dream even though the Navy transformed the plane into a war machine.
The Wind Rises brings a story of ambitions and sorrows. It is artistically presented with sequences foreshadowing the future technology and the structures of planes. Ergo, Jiro has a personal life that is brief due to his demanding job; however, he manages to have a loving marriage.
It is a touching story that is superbly told. Miyazaki finalizes his successful career with a fictional vision of Jiro’s childhood into adulthood and creating beautiful planes. The film demonstrates that every dream leads to a result; therefore, be careful what you wish for.
My final grade…the film deserves the Oscar!
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