Friday, 20 March 2015

Review: When the Wind Blows

‘When the Wind Blows’ is an adapted animation created by Jimmy T. Murakami (1986) and written originally by Raymond Briggs (1982). Murakami, an American born citizen is responsible for the famous ‘The Snowman’ (1982) that graces our television screens most Christmas’ in some shape or form, usually an advertisement. His style is very illustrative, as if they could be seen in pages of a children’s story book, the line and shape is simplistic and has a strong root of ‘Britishness’ running throughout not only the setting of the animation but the script and sound score also. Peggy Ashcroft, a well-known British stage actress in her time appeared in one of the first stage productions of ‘The 39 Steps’. She also is the voice actress for Hilda Bloggs, the wife in ‘When the Wind Blows’. David Bowies (English singer/songwriter) song ‘When the Wind Blows’ is also the first from of music we hear in the opening making the decade of which the animation is set in  and the Britain element even more apparent.
When the Wind Blows’ is about an elderly retired couple living out the rest of their lives in the British countryside when all seems well and good there is a news report stating that there could be a nuclear war. The husband of the pair, Jim, is enthusiastic and eager to prepare for the worst whereas his wife, Hilda wants to carry on as normal as she feels slightly safer away from the bigger cities (a more targeted point). Jim follows the Governments guidelines on what to do in preparation if a bomb where to fall. Jim builds a shelter in his own home using various doors and items from the house to make it safe and secure. Unfortunately, a bomb does fall and we watch how Jim and Hilda respond to it, coping and adapting to the destroyed environment.

If Murakami was trying to achieve a British animation, he did. The script has British stamped all over it, the repetitive tea making and the wife telling off the husband. The elderly couple believe what they hear and follow each rule that is first given to them rather than investigating other sources to see if their plan of action is different. The different methods used within the animation were done successfully but were very obvious, at times the scene didn’t blend however, this may have been deliberate, something that was unexpected in a 2D 80s animation. Though the film is about a daunting subject, nuclear war, the script is enjoyable as at times it becomes relatable as we as a British audience member have seen and heard similar actions. I would recommend this for a more adult audience who want to re live a few memories.

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