Whale Rider

A Film Review By Jason L. King

Rating: Rated PG-13 for brief language and a momentary drug reference
Starring: Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton
Directed By:Niki Caro

Final Grade: <

In a summer of big time blockbusters and sequels new market entertainment brings us a fun tale for the Whole family in Whale Rider. The film has gained popularity through word of mouth and is packing in people in box offices across the country. And rightfully so.

Korro is a tribal chief who for years has been looking for the right person to pass on his heritage too. The new leader must be born of his blood and be a gifted leader. The only problem is he watched his son turn down his father’s heritage and go his own separate way. And when Kurro’s son’s first born is a little girl, once again the Great Tribal Chief is let down. As the little girl grows up everyone can see that she is a gifted leader, but Kurro refuses to acknowledge this, for he is looking for the person he cannot have, a male to take his place. But the more Kurro searches for the newest leader of his tribe, and the further he distances himself from his granddaughter the more he realizes that the days of old are past and the world is changing even though his heart is not….

This flick proves to be one of those films that are really well made, and yet don’t really have the box office draw that they deserve. Just because a film doesn’t have a big name star, doesn’t mean someone shouldn’t go check it out. In fact, sometimes its films like that, that deserves it that much more. Whale Rider brings us a colorful cast of characters but offers us no big stars. There is no Hollywood flash to this movie, no big name stars, no stunning special effects. And that is what makes it a step above the rest.

The nice thing about this flick is that it alone can stand on plot, and few films are able to do that these days. Add that in with a heartfelt story that mixes enjoyable characters with all around fun, it is another movie that families can enjoy. From a stylistic approach it is a treat, but for the average moviegoer who wants a good old fashioned feel good flick, and a little bit of culture as well Whale Rider delivers with a grace and style of it’s own.
In the end, is this film worth your buck? The short and sweet answer is more than likely a yes. It’s a bit predictable and almost a little cheesy but still an enjoyable night at the theater for people of all ages. It’s not the type of film that you drag your drinking buddies to, just so you can impress them with your manly choice of films, if you want that there are plenty of action flicks in the box offices these days, but if you want some good natured fun Whale Rider Just might be your thing.

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