New Zealand (2010)
NR 87 min.
A 2010 New Zealand film written, directed and starring Taika Waititi of the Oscar nominated “Two Cars, One Night”.
The year is 1984, and on the rural East Coast of New Zealand, “Thriller” is changing kids’ lives. “BOY” is the hilarious and heartfelt coming-of-age tale about two brothers, Boy (James Rolleston) and his younger sibling Rocky (Te Aho Aho Eketone-Whitu) and their adventures after the return of their absentee father Alamein (Taika Waititi), who has been in prison for robbery for seven years.
I must say our New Zealand and Australian films hold a place in our heart. For my liking, they are considerably well done and very well written in many instances. And this film delivered, beyond my expectations.
“Boy” is about wit and humor, packaged conveniently in two adorable young children. Though the movie showcases just how destitute their village is, it still remarkable how deep in the regions of the rural East Coast of New Zealand, the children are entranced by Western Culture and in particular one very charismatic singer by the name of Michael Jackson. There is a significant contrast here, but it is all in good fun, and merely to break the true intent of the story, which is the estranged relationship between the two boys and their father. The boys see their father as a hero, imagining wild tales of his departure and ventures during his absence, while the reality is, their father has only returned to find the bag of money that he has buried in the garden. And his foolish antics along his side his two tag-along friends, only prove further, that Alamein is not good for the children, and his return during their influential developmental years, is highly disruptive.
But soon enough, Boy begins to unveil the rose colored glasses that he had been wearing and sees his father for whom he truly is and it is about Boy having to grow up quickly, calling his father out on his past actions. We might also add that Boy’s younger brother, Rocky has some issues of his own, as he perceives himself to be a superhero of sorts, with magical powers, that can at the turn of his hand, cause follies upon his victims.
From the beginning to the end, the movie was comedic and light-hearted but sincere. I could see the progression in the relationship between the boys and their father and appreciated their journey. In summary, I absolutely enjoyed this film and highly recommend it. And who doesn’t love a facetious depiction of Michael Jackson’s Thriller dance, brought to you Maori style!
“Boy” opens at Kahala and Pearlridge West Consolidated Theaters (Hawaii) Friday April 27, 2012. Playing at selected theaters nationwide.