Set on the east coast of New Zealand in 1984, Boy, an 11-year-old child and devout Michael Jackson fan, gets a chance to know his absentee criminal father, who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years ago.
Viago, Deacon, and Vladislav are vampires who are finding that modern life has them struggling with the mundane - like paying rent, keeping up with the chore wheel, trying to get into nightclubs, and overcoming flatmate conflicts.
It's 1984. Here we meet Boy, an 11-year-old who lives on a farm with his gran, a goat, and his younger brother, Rocky (who thinks he has magic powers). Shortly after Gran leaves for a week, Boy's father, Alamein, appears out of the blue. Having imagined a heroic version of his father during his absence, Boy comes face to face with the real version-an incompetent hoodlum who has returned to find a bag of money he buried years before. This is where the goat enters. Written by
Sundance Film Festival
Director Taika Waititi was less than a week away from filming when he realised the boy he had as lead wasn't working out. Three days before filming began, James Rolleston, who was hanging around on set as an extra, was given the lead by Taika Waititi. See more »
The story takes place in 1984 with a month ending in 'ber' ( i.e. September, October, November or December) according to what is written on the classroom blackboard. Boy says that his brother Rocky is six years old. Their mother Joanie died while giving birth to Rocky. According to Joanie's tombstone, she died in April, 1977. Doing the math, that would make Rocky seven, not six. See more »
So what you guys been up to?
We are self employed now
What's your job?
Chucking mud at those cows
See more »
The last shot after the credits is of Leaf, the goat, walking across a dance floor where the floor lights up as he walks on it. See more »
Introspective narrative can work profound change, and this is a good example.
The story is simple enough: New Zealand native village; extreme poverty; passel of young kids establishing the world of the narrative.
One of these is our narrator, the Boy, about ten. His primary concern is how he appears to his mates and the local girls. Various comic devices set the tone before his father arrives back from prison. We then see some endearing shared fantasies, before Boy gets the truth about his Dad as selfishly irresponsible. The shape is generally called "coming of age." Thousands of these have been made. They have a built in minimal appeal, and great constraints on the ability to say anything new.
But this does have something new, thanks to the apparently limitless gateway of self- reference. We watch the movie that includes an inner movie of the boy's life, composed of fragments of other movies. We've had this since "Breathless," of course. The fragments have to do with roles associated with the father, mostly war movies, and about Boy, mostly Michael Jackson videos.
Here's something new: after we get all that settled, there is a second inner movie fold that appears, the Dad and his cohorts. He brings his own inner movie, different than Boy's. It is one of a rebel gang: James Dean, Marlon Brando. Boy tries to adapt his inner movie to his dad's and in the process breaks both.
Along the way, there is a spectrum of what we see: the narrator in the film, his ordinary life, his fantasies as he sees them. His fantasies as we see them. His dad's fantasies as he, we and Boy sees them.
Taika Cohen wrote, directed and stars as the dad. It is good, very good.
Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 3: Worth watching.
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