Boy

The Guardian - G2 - - Reviews Film - Cath Clarke

Dir: Taika Waititi. With: James Rolle­ston, Taika Waititi, Mo­erangi Ti­hore. 87 mins. Cert: 15

Now that New Zealand’s Taika Waititi has hit the big league di­rect­ing Mar­vel’s Thor: Rag­narok, his sec­ond film, 2010’s Maori com­ing-of-age com­edy Boy, is fi­nally re­leased in the UK. It’s a lovely, big-hearted film, and hi­lar­i­ous in places. Like Waititi’s 2016 indie hit Hunt for the Wilder­peo­ple, it’s a paean to the strength and re­silience of kids. Set in 1984, Boy (James Rolle­ston) is a full-of­beans 11-year-old, who hero-wor­ships his dim-wit­ted crim­i­nal dad (Waititi, giv­ing a dy­na­mite comic per­for­mance). It’s heart­break­ingly sad watch­ing Boy’s il­lu­sions shat­ter as he be­gins to see his fa­ther for the cringe­wor­thy im­ma­ture man-child he is. And with a level of emo­tional re­al­ness miss­ing from most quirky indie come­dies, Waititi lets in the thought that, in this de­prived com­mu­nity, a promis­ing kid like Boy might grow up to be a man like his dad. A ten­der and funny film.

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