When I saw the trailer for this little New Zealand indie film called Boy, I just had to see it. It looked like it had the potential to be a wonderful film. Boy was directed by Taika Waititi who is the same filmmaker that brought us a great little film called Eagle Vs. Shark. It’s funny because he actually considers Eagle Vs. Shark his second film and Boy his first film even thought he made Eagle vs. Shark first. He explains that he learned a lot on the project but that it was a film he made so that he could take people by surprise.
Boy is definitely one of the best movies I’ve seen at Sundance, I absolutely adored this movie. The story was strong, the characters were developed incredibly well, I loved the characters in the movie especially the three main characters of the story which includes the title character Boy, his brother Rocky, and their father Alamein A.K.A. Shogun.
This is a touching tale that takes place ing 1984 in a rural Maori community in the Bay of Plenty and follows an 11 year old Boy’s journey to knowing and understanding the adult world of which, one day, he will be a part of. He invents memories for himself to help him make sense of the mad world in which he lives. He also has a very powerful fanboy love for Michael Jackson. He tries to make his life better through made up stories of his father who’s not been a part of his life for years. Some of these stories include his dad being a deep sea diver, a war hero, and a close relation to Michael Jackson. In reality his father is inept, wannabe gangster who’s spent time in jail for robbery. When his father returns, Boy is forced to reinvent the world and memories he’s created for himself so that he can grow more as a young man.
The acting in the film was spot on perfect. The performance from the child actors in the film were incredible! They were extremely natural in their roles and comfortable in front of the camera. The movie is set in a place that not many people know of or see, and there is a certain way that the characters had to talk and carry themselves. The director actually used local Maori kids, and the director has said that the situation they were were in in the movie was very natural for them because that’s what life is like for them, which is obviously why they were so comfortable.
The actor who played the lead role in the film, James Rolleston, was awesome. It was amazing watching this kid shine on the big screen and out-perform most adult actors in the entertainment industry. This kid is a natural and for me, he’s definitely earned his place as one of the best child performances I’ve even seen.
The director of the movie actually played Boy's father Alamein, and he also did a brilliant job in this role. He was extremely funny and lovable, which is really interesting because the guy is really a dead-beat-dad that is screwing with his kids' heads.
The film was very funny and extremely heart warming. It was such a great story, and the many characters that the audience is introduced to are so rich and full of life and color that you can’t help but love watching them unfold the story that Waititi is telling.
This is one of the best films at The Sundance Film Festival this year and I hope that you will get the opportunity to watch it in the near future.