Fantastic, imaginative, quirky, hilarious and heartbreaking.
I loved the actors. They seemed so authentic, maybe because of the labored speech- they mumbled and mixed in jargon and Maori words- but also because they were a bit awkward. That’s how I remember being 11. A lot of people have scornful things to say about such young actors, but probably because they forget how awkward THEY were at 11.
The dad (played by director Taika Waititi) was perfect; I think Waititi caught that feeling of hopelessness when you realize a parent is fallible. Also I think he managed to capture what happens when your inner movie doesn’t quite match up with reality; in Boy’s narrative, his father is always the hero, always honorable, a soldier, a romantic, possessing the suave moves Michael Jackson. But Alamein wants to be a rebel and renegade and Boy can’t reconcile these two and they fall apart.
The audience giggled away and I was nearly reduced to tears in parts (sometimes sad ones, sometimes laughter ones) and the meandering story didn’t offer anything close to closure but still had everyone in the cinema clapping and smiling and talking as soon as the lights came on.
Sprinkled with pop culture references, fantasy scenes, and a Thriller-slash-Haka at the end, Boy definitely lived up to my expectations with a sense of dry humor Aussies can definitely relate to, and a heartfelt mixture of hope and hopelessness, something that makes this film very unique.
Have you seen it? What did you think?