With the help of government-issued pamphlets, an elderly British couple build a shelter and prepare for an impending nuclear attack, unaware that times and the nature of war have changed from their romantic memories of World War II.
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Quietly, Englishly, unassumingly descends (then precipitously collapses) from a cozy idyll of country claustrophilia to a nightmare scenario marked by mounting bewilderment, radiation sickness, and the abrupt withdrawal of every support for a "normal" life. When the Wind Blows reminds us of the limits of keeping calm and carrying on, but also of the blessings of a cup of tea with your soul mate, delirium be damned.
Claustrophobically bleak. Killer soundwork. Sure, its depressive quality is evident at every turn, the intent is obvious but... I just cannot ignore the aftertaste left by the film. ... reminds me of Disney's 50's post-apocalyptic aesthetic (see "The Spirit of '43" and "Mickey and the Beanstalk") -||| Monstra Lisboa 2016
Instead of using a child innocence confronted with casualties of war, it uses the innocence of simple minded middle-aged couple whose everyday routine is distorted in a horrifying series of events. It fails to reach the heights, or better say, the abyss of "Grave of Fireflies". But, through its dialogue driven plot, it manages to say more about humanity with few simple words, than any speech probably could.
3.5 stars. So much of the power of the film for me comes from seeing Briggs' soft watercoloured amicability, which I knew so intimately in my childhood, being twisted ironically for deadly serious ends - this means that I find it hard to assess the film's artistic virtues on its own merits, but it certainly left me shaken, which is what a film about nuclear war should do. First as tragedy, then as farce.
Some interesting visual techniques make up for what is now fairly outdated animation. It's hard for someone of my generation to feel the once pervasive fear of nuclear threat - I guess environmental catastrophe is our equivalent. This feels like cold war propaganda, interesting for its low opinion of the state, yet I found it more draining to spend 80 minutes with this couple as my companions.
I enjoyed the authentic, sort of 'two-faced' style in this film, combining real footage with animation. The theme is unique and original, and once the movie gets going it really touched me. I did have some annoyances with some of the over the top 'staying in character' acting of the two protagonists, but at the same time it defined contrast with the situation which makes the movie work. A job very well done.