The Wind Rises is the final film written and directed by famous anime director Hayao Miyazaki from Studio Ghibli. Perhaps best known in the Western world for the films Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke, Hayao Miyazaki's career has spanned over six decades.
Like many of his previous films The Wind Rises contains magical, spiritual elements as well as beautiful imagery. It uses a seemingly simple storyline to tell of how war has a corrupting influence on beauty and inspiration.
The story is loosely based on the life of the Japanese aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi. We follow Jiro from childhood where he dreams of planes, to university where he obsesses over the perfect curve found in mackerel bones, to his work at Mitsubishi where he uses his vision to design war planes.
This film deals in contradictions - Japan's struggle for innovation vs. their poverty, beauty vs. destruction, and love vs. life. But perhaps some of these contradictions are taken slightly too far, as the film's more serious messages are hidden by a layer of heightened dreamy lightness.
That being said, The Wind Rises has a lovely, simple artistic style, and being allowed an insight into the beautifully constructed visionary dreams of a creative mind is amazing and can maybe help us to think about what inspires us in our own lives. His last movie as director is definitely one of his most moving.