emily🌈’s review published on Letterboxd:
I've been recently reading a lot of Antoine de Saint-Exupery, a wonderful author and a very hawskian, eternal figure in the sense that he was so passionate about what he was doing to the point where what was giving him life lead him to his doom. He was also a guy Miyazaki took a bunch of ideas from(or at least it seems like it). Why did we create myths? Because we wanted to explain to ourselves how the world operates. Why are we so obsessed with believing in fantasy? Because we want to escape from all the heartbreak, the horror and the weeping of this world. Why did we stopped believing in myths and fantasies? Because of our cynicism? Because of how complicated, fast and complex modern life is? In his most cherised and well known work-The Little Prince- Exupery tenderly expresses the idea that children are the most profound philosophers in the world for they have the ability to feel the magic and the beauty of life while completely being unaware of its ugliness. And he is not wrong really, the older you get the more you realize that Winnie The Pooh is far more truthful than Plato. Ok so you might be asking how does all of this lead us to Miyazaki and his fairytale for grown ups, the sublime Kiki's Delivery Service?
Well Miyazaki is a true romantic. Not only because he believes in the fairies that make our deepest wishes come true but he also believes in the pain and the melancholy that comes along with dreaming(that's what The Wind Rises is all about after all which is low key the most essential film of the 21st century along with Spielberg's AI for pretty much the same reasons). He is as magical as Chaplin yet he is as bittersweet as Ozu. Imo here -whether intentional or not- he finds the perfect harmony between realism and magic, that's why so many people find his work so relaxing and comforting. He is aware that storm exists and but for him the the endless blue of the sea is more beautiful. And for that the older you get the more you understand how much Miyazaki just gets life, locating its complexity by looking at the gentle heart of a child, the place where every kind of flower blooms. His art has aged immensely well-especially this one which gives the impression that today it is more wise and life affirming than in 1989. I think this perfectly gets what living in the 21st century feels like along with so many other things. It communicates what feeling lost in this endless world feels like, how it feels like to understand for the first time what sadness is and feeling drowned in it, how scary the idea of complete independence is because you never know where life will lead you and you feel so alone so you spend most of your time overthinking everything and not taking a time to just relax and appreciate the little things-the blue sky, the rich architecture that surrounds us, the gentle wind.
But it also beautifully showcases the way we forge our identities by not who we are but who we long to be, by limiting ourselves to only what he want to achieve professionaly to the point where he forget about our spiritual and mental self. But sometimes our true self with all of his imperfections is far greater than a beautiful lie. Miyazaki essentialy as an artist plays the role of a wise old man reassuring us that everything will be alright: we have the right to dream and that in itself can gives us all the courage and the kindness we need. I mean, few movies have images and music as beautiful as this one. If this movie was music, then hope would be its scale. And for that I long one day to make art as heavenly as Miyazaki does: if I can make my viewer smile and feel happy, then I would become a true artist. What? That seems way too romantic to you? Well, a touch of humanism, empathy and faith never hurted anyone. Smile dear people, so much beauty is, was and will eternally continue to be around us. Close your eyes, open your hearts and you will see it in all of its breathtaking majesty. "The wind is rising, we must try to live". Oops, wrong movie.