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Whale Rider
Review by Ross Anthony

Beautiful caring endearing. The first 2/3rds are artfully, soulfully crafted with heart, family, tradition and real humor. Gorgeous, an A+. However, the last third wanes a bit due in part to a predictable conclusion and a rather abrupt commencement to a wonderful idea: "traditional aboriginal father decides to create a 'Chief camp' for the local initially disinterested boys." That story line feels quite truncated.

The main character is a charming little girl who believes in herself despite being kicked out of the 'Chief club' by her own grandfather.

I must admit, I may have been distracted by a noisy family who entered the film at the 2/3rds mark. Either way, that last third seems to slow just a bit on an already relaxing pace.

All in all, this New Zealand production is still a special film.

(This film viewed at Alhambra's Edwards Renaissance Stadium 14.)

  • Whale Rider. Copyright © 2003. PG-13.
  • Starring Keisha Castle-Hughes, Rawiri Paratene, Vicky Haughton, Cliff Curtis, Grant Noa, Mana Taumaunu.
  • Directed by Niki Caro.
  • Screenplay by Niki Caro.
  • Produced by Tim Sanders, John Barnett, Frank Hubner at Newmarket/South Pacific/ApolloMedia/Pandora.

Grade..........................A- (3/4)

Copyright © 2001. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

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Last Modified: Saturday, 16-Sep-2006 07:49:52 PDT