Boy, focuses on the experiences of an eleven-year-old boy called Alamein. Growing up in a remote area of New Zealand in 1984, he is coming to terms with the tragic death of his mother. Plus the absence of his estranged Dad, who has been serving time in prison. Boy idolizes Michael Jackson and uses his wild imagination to create wild stories about his father. That is, until his useless father finally turns up. But can he live up to the potential of Alamein and his younger brother Rocky?
This was the second movie, written and directed by Taika Waititi. Following on from his 2007 release of Eagle vs Shark. But it was the release of Boy, that firmly stamped Waititi's position as a significant talent. To say that the film was a success would be a vast understatement. On top of winning a long list of awards, Boy became the highest-grossing New Zealand made film ever. It's fair to say that Taika Waititi is now regarded as one of the finest writers and directors of the modern era. The 2019 release of Jo-Jo Rabbit went on to win an Oscar and a Bafta for best screenplay and was nominated for the best picture.
If you are familiar with the work of Taika Waititi, the big thing that stands out is his magical way of blending tragedy with comedy. Yes, this could easily be associated with the very unique New Zealand sense of humor. But, for me, Waititi displays immense imagination all delivering a happy/sad style that has the capacity to make you laugh and cry from one scene to the next.
Now, even though the premise is quite weak. The script makes up for this in bounds. On top of that, the cast does a fantastic job with the material too. There are fine performances from some of New Zealand's finest talents, such as Rachel House, Cohen Holloway, and Craig Hall. Waititi is outstanding playing the tragically pathetic Dad. But the big standout comes from James Rolleston playing Boy. Amazingly, Rolleston was not the original choice but was given the role by Waititi just two days before shooting.
It's fair to say, that Boy delivers a truly unique style of humor that may not be everyone's cup of tea. But it is, without doubt, a wonderful film packed full of charm and outrageously funny moments. Not least, the final scene, which is one of the craziest finales I have ever seen. Let's say if you are a fan of Waititi then Boy is essential viewing.
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