Whale Rider Reviews
Though it may come across as odd to some viewers, Whale Rider is a promising and entertaining drama with a talented cast and gripping plot.
What were the main ideas of the movie? To accept new ideas
How did the movie make you feel and what did it make you think about as you watched? Sad and overjoyed with the different changes
What were your final thoughts about the movie and overall comments on the big ideas and plot? I thought that it was great how the grandfather learned to accept his granddaughter
What do you think the overall point the makers of the movie were trying to make? That as time goes on we have to accept that things will not always be the same and that change will happen
Did you enjoy the movie? Yes I thought that the movie was a really go movie and had really good meaning to it.
Keisha Castle-Hughes is absolutely mesmerizing. She breaks your heart with one look and lifts your spirit the next. Perhaps the new Natalie Portman with more sorrow. Such depth of emotion at such young age, i guess we will c if that develops into something great.
The case for Paikia, the main character in Whale Rider was that the mere act of her being born was seen as a disappointment. Paikia survived while her mom and twin brother died during birth. Her grandfather, Paku, was the leader of their tribe and his first son (Paikia's dad) did not want to on the responsibilities of being the leader the tribe, so that would role would have fell to his first born son. Paku wanted nothing to do with Paikia at first; he resented her because she was not the boy. He viewed everything traditionally and in his eyes Paikia could never be the next tribal leader that she was destined to be but she set out to prove him wrong.
In the beginning of the movie, a lady was in the hospital room praying and chanting for the deceased mother who died during childbirth. I felt that she was a shaman performing a death ritual. The family and other community members were also there. Paku also prayed over the deceased baby boy in the same manner. In many Native American religions death is considered to be an important part of spiritual transition. Paikia could also be a shaman, she called out to the ancestors to help her troubled people and all the whales were washed ashore. Paku viewed this as something bad, but maybe it was to show him how strong Paikia really was and the whales were just part of the sacrifice?
Darkness and misfortune came over the tribe because of Paku's inability to accept her as their next leader. In the Maori culture, a woman can't lead her tribe or perform certain sacred rites and rituals. I believe that your fate is chosen the moment you are conceived. It was Paikia's fate to be a leader. The movie showed several metaphoric examples of her strength, courage, intelligence and humility. She was chosen to live, not her brother for this same reason.
In Indigenous Religion, not following your God/ Gods can bring you harm and/or misfortune. Her grandfather was thinking about how he was taught and not how things were. It was all right in front of him.
This film helped me to understand the fine line between tradition and evolving into your time. Even though they upheld all that was sacred, the ancient ancestors chose a 12 year old girl to be the next leader of their tribe. Her fate was overlooked but it could not be changed. Paku finally saw this at the end of the movie when Paikia willed the largest whale back into the ocean and Nanny, his wife, gave him his whale tooth back that he threw into the ocean as a test for the first sons 'that could not retrieve it. It was Paikia that found it.