Shit. Just. Got. Real.
I’m sure I missed a whole lot of references that would have had New Zealand audiences in stitches, but this was funny, sweet and serious in equal measure. Ricky (Julian Dennison) the young boy at the heart of the tale has led a troubled existence (from which director Taika Waititi does not shy away) but which is balanced with humour and dignity. His reluctant partner in crime is Sam Neill, curmudgeonly at first, but a great character excellently played. More Sam Neill please!
With the exception of a misfiring Rhys Darby in the final act (actually not misfiring – he seems to be the same in everything I’ve seen – is that heresy?) the supporting characters bring enough laughter, empathy and sheer ridiculousness to balance the more serious threads lurking beneath. Add in beautiful, sweeping shots of the New Zealand countryside, and the whole thing is superb.
Delightful and majestical!