whale rider

There aren't many pictures that portray the life of the modern Maori. This film attempts to show how a Maori tribe tries to resolve its history with its future, as it tries to find a successor for the current chief, Koro. On the day Koro is expecting two twin grandchildren, he loses one of the children as well as their mother. He is left with Paikea, which disappoints him as the culture does not allow female chiefs. It doesn't take a leap of the imagination to figure out where the movie goes from there. While this film is predictable at times, and it could have used a bit more trimming before being delivered to the theater, this cute little film is worth seeing (especially on a date). The actress who played Paikea, Keisha Castle-Hughes, is a rarity: a child actor who can act. She conveys emotion better than many adult actors, and had no trouble running along the adult actors in the film (all of which were also good). Whale Rider isn't the best film of the year, nor is it perfect by any stretch. What it is, though, is a fun, happy movie that doesn't pander to the audience.