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.
Te Aho Eketone-Whitu,
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.
In the forests of the Pacific Northwest, a father devoted to raising his six kids with a rigorous physical and intellectual education is forced to leave his paradise and enter the world, challenging his idea of what it means to be a parent.
Bella and Hector, two reclusive country folk, become foster parents to Ricky, a problem child from the city. After some adjustment, things go reasonably well. However, the death of Bella means Hector now has to look after Ricky, and they didn't get along too well. Moreover, her death causes Child Services to decide to send Ricky back to the orphanage. Ricky refuses to go back and runs away, ultimately sparking a national manhunt for him and Hector.Written by
In the birthday scene, the cast and crew filmed ten takes singing the normal "Happy Birthday" song before finding out they didn't have the rights to use it. So the song "Ricky Baker, It's your Birthday" was created on the spot by the actors. See more »
When Kahu asks Ricky about his mom, he picks the photograph he's got of her from his pocket, and it is unfolded. The shot cuts to Kahu receiving the photograph while being folded, and then unfolding it again. See more »
Hugely enjoyable comedy adventure with serious undertones
Kiwi director Taika Waititi of "Boy" and "What We Do In the Shadows" fame will shortly be stepping into the big leagues directing the next "Thor" movie.
In the meantime he has conjured up another slice of real Kiwi life on a budget that would probably fail to cover the catering bill for his new movie. Waititi translates Kiwi writer Barry Crump's book into a screenplay full of Kiwiana, irony and humour.
We meet Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison) as the local police (Oscar Kightley) and "enthusiastic" Child Care worker "Paula" (Rachel House), attempt to rehouse the young Maori lad with his new adoptive foster parents. "Aunt Bella" (Rima Te Wiata), child loving and with a heart of gold together with husband "Hec" (Sam Neill), a loner bushman with little desire to house a young delinquent.
Ricky's long list of offences are mentioned, including "smashing stuff and throwing rocks" but Paula is very determined, oft repeating her personal motto, "no child left behind".
The opening scene sets the tone perfectly, as Ricky carefully surveys his new accommodation and quietly returns to the police car.
Despite finding his new basic rural surroundings somewhat bewildering, including a gloriously bloody wild pig hunt, Ricky starts to become part of the family as he is showered by Aunt Bella's practical love and understanding.
Following an event, Ricky and Hec strike out on their own into the New Zealand bush as a national man hunt for the pair commences. Can they get on, will Hec's heart eventually melt, if indeed he can find it? This is a comedy drama with emphasis on the humour with incompetent hunters, crazy bushmen (Rhys Darby) and comical situations. However framed with underlying sadness and a serious story under pinning the whole endeavour. The tone is reminiscent of director Waititi's' "Boy" and manages to stay consistent throughout. Waititi even allowing himself a brief cameo, to great comedic effect.
There are plenty of belly laughs for those that understand and know New Zealand well. Neill essaying your everyday "she'll be right" Kiwi bloke, whilst providing a much needed straight man to all the shenanigans.
Some scenes are pushed too far, with Paula's quest going to ridiculous length's for the sake of comedy and Darby overbalancing his scenes with his usual shtick. Somehow with the solid anchor of Dennison's fresh performance and Neill's experience, the ship manages to stay the right way up.
The New Zealand bush is shown in all it's glory with the addition of a great choral track to accompany the shots of the overhead tree canopy.
Overall a much more approachable and enjoyable film than "Shadows" which will play especially well with Kiwi's and Australians but does have broader appeal.
Hugely enjoyable comedy adventure with serious undertones and represents a real return to form for Waititi. It's also good to see Sam Neill on the big screen again, opposite a great new young talent.
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