Whale Rider

2002

Action / Drama / Family

28
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 90%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 88%
IMDb Rating 7.6 10 36531

Synopsis


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December 05, 2011 at 07:05 PM

Director

Cast

Cliff Curtis as Porourangi
720p.BLU
653.22 MB
1280*720
English
PG-13
25.000 fps
1hr 41 min
P/S 3 / 23

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by Ezekiel 6 / 10

predictable but still eminently worth seeing

At first glance, Whale Rider seems to be just another PC flick affirming girls' ability to do or be anything that guys can do or be. The Maori setting gives it an exotic edge that many films in that category often lack; and it also provides a bit of distance from our own society that makes it seem a little less in-your-face than other formulaic battle-of-the-sexes PC stories. The cultural separation also makes it easier to accept the characters' actions and words more plausibly authentic than in other stories in that genre that are set in our own familiar settings whose characters feel more contrived and unnatural. So it is a clear notch above other stories aimed at shattering sexual discrimination. But in the end, it still occupies that formulaic PC niche.

Reviewed by Lee Eisenberg 10 / 10

a new outlook for Maori tradition

I heard about "Whale Rider" when it got released but never got around to seeing it. I finally have. What an impressive movie. It looks at a variety of topics: the Maoris' efforts to keep their culture alive, the issue of whether or not tradition is an impediment to social progress, and looking to one's history.

The protagonist is a girl named Pai. According to Maori tradition, only the first-born son can become leader. Pai's brother died after he was born, leaving her as the only descendant, and her grandfather does not want to change the tradition.

This is one of the few movies that I've seen focusing on the Maoris' traditions, and likely the only one focusing on their mythology (the title is based on the story that their ancestor arrived in New Zealand on the back of a whale). I saw it described as a family movie, probably since a child is the main character. It's a more serious movie than what we usually think of as family movies, but it also gives a sense of hope for the Maoris' future. Keisha Castle-Hughes received an Academy Award nomination for her role.

All in all, good movie. I recommend it. Niki Caro more recently directed "The Zookeeper's Wife".

Reviewed by japrice-26876 8 / 10

Movie review reaction

The film Whale Rider is based in New Zealand. It stars a young girls named Pai who believes she will be the next chief. She technically cannot inherit the leadership because she is female. Her grandfather, Koro, later forms a strong bond with Pai, but he still condemns her and blames her for mishaps within the tribe. Koro eventually teaches a school of boy, hoping to find a new leader. The boy shows signs of a good leader and fighter demonstrating alpha male skills. He teaches them how to use fighting sticks. This tradition is strictly reserved for males. However, Pai's nanny tells her that her second son had won many tournaments in his youth, so Pai secretly learns from him. As she is learning to use the stick she wants to still watch her grandfather teach and one day he finds her getting lessons from one of the boys who is being taught by him and he is furious. Pai was always determined to prove to Koro that she is meant to be the chief. She never let Koro fully get to her. Even though Koro never showed signs of true love and affection to her. Even when Pai finds his whale tooth necklace that none of the other boys in town could do when he gave them the task of finding the tooth he threw into the middle of the deep ocean. Or when Pai writes her school speech for him and he misses the recital. But, eventually Koro opens his eyes and sees that Pai is meant to be chief. He responds immediately to Pai with acceptance and love. The film builds a global perspective by showing the viewer how to love, care, and keep composure while times are not in your favor. I would strongly recommend this film to a teacher or student.

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