I’ve been keeping an eye out for this movie for a year or two. I finally rented it on YouTube after intending to watch it for a while. One of my favorite comedians, Jim Florentine, had mentioned it a few times on his podcast, so I was aware of it. He remarked that it was one of his favorite films and that there was no other film like it, therefore it had a significant impact on him. However, I am aware that everyone has different movie preferences, so here is my viewpoint.
The movie commences with several tracking shots of living in some of New Zealand’s less affluent neighborhoods. You get the concept. Townhouses beside the road, flea markets, etc. At first, it had a “Menace II Society” vibe. There’s a good chance that this film’s producers and/or director saw Menace II Society, which was released the year before (in 1993) and dealt with related societal issues. But the film soon developed its own identity.
Jake, the central figure played by Temuera Morrison, is presented to you. At least he appears likeable. After losing his job, he returns home to an earful from his wife (played by Rena Owen). Here we go, another ballbuster, I thought. But the movie did not proceed at all in that way. You quickly come to the realization that not everything is as it seems. Jake is definitely not a huge affable guy. The darkest parts of the world are explored in the film. But it’s absolutely genuine.
If they hadn’t meticulously edited it, which they did to perfection, this thing might have easily lasted three hours due to the abundance of details and character development. The film was an exhilarating journey through the ups and downs of low-income Mori existence in New Zealand. Native inhabitants of that island nation are known as Mori.
Domestic violence, gang violence, alcoholism, and other even worse issues run through this film. It isn’t, however, exploitative. Positive aspects abound, and humanity in all its manifestations is clearly seen. Based on Alan Duff’s best-selling novel from 1990, the film. The majority of outstanding films are based on books. Making a screenplay from a novel has the advantage that you can cherry-pick its best parts and condense them. But if done incorrectly, the result could be a disjointed film devoid of coherence or rhythm. Once Were Warriors flawlessly stays clear of those problems.
I wished I could have stayed with this group after the movie ended to find out more about the brothers and the fates of some of the other people. I don’t want to reveal too much out of concern that it may ruin the movie. The sequel was well received by critics and the general public, which is fantastic news for me. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? is the title, and I am eager to see it.
Why this film became the highest-grossing film of all time in New Zealand is not a mystery to me. The era’s film critics gave it favorable reviews as well. It received 3.5 out of 4 stars from Roger Ebert. I would rate it four stars on his scale. I give it a 94% on the Baldy Potato scale, though. It was expertly acted, captured on camera, edited, and directed. When I feel up to it, I’ll watch it again because I’m sure I missed some subtleties. If you enjoy watching dramas, you should definitely watch this.
What in the World Baldy Potatoes?
BP is an alternative movie reviews website. It makes no profit and is here strictly for the fans.