What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

1999

What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

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Movie Info

The 1994 drama Once Were Warriors told a sad but compelling tale of violence and alcoholism in New Zealand's Maori community, and What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? picks up the story several years later, though the focus is less on an individual family than the spread of gang warfare among the modern-day Maori. Jake and Beth Heke (Temuera Morrison and Rena Owen), the combative couple in the first film, have now split up, Beth having lost her patience with Jake's alcoholism and violent temper. Beth has moved on and lives with her new boyfriend, and while Jake also has a new relationship, his binge drinking and violence have continued unabated. Jake's eldest son, Nig (Julian Arahanga) has fared little better in life, and dies in a fight with a member of a rival gang. At Nig's funeral, Jake is confronted by Beth and his younger son, Sonny (Clint Eruera), who feels Jake abandoned his family and doesn't mind telling him so. Sonny decides he must avenge Nig's death and joins forces with Nig's girlfriend Tania (Nancy Brunning) and his pal Mookie (Tammy Davis) to exact their own kind of justice. However, an unpleasant run-in with the Black Snakes gang only earns them more enemies. Jake, meanwhile, is dropped by his girlfriend and sinks even deeper into the abyss of his demons. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? was directed by Ian Mune, continuing the story begun by filmmaker Lee Tamahori.

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Critic Reviews for What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

Audience Reviews for What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?

  • Feb 15, 2010
    The 1994 drama Once Were Warriors told a sad but compelling tale of violence and alcoholism in New Zealand's Maori community, and What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? picks up the story several years later, though the focus is less on an individual family than the spread of gang warfare among the modern-day Maori. Jake and Beth Heke (Temuera Morrison and Rena Owen), the combative couple in the first film, have now split up, Beth having lost her patience with Jake's alcoholism and violent temper. Beth has moved on and lives with her new boyfriend, and while Jake also has a new relationship, his binge drinking and violence have continued unabated. Jake's eldest son, Nig (Julian Arahanga) has fared little better in life, and dies in a fight with a member of a rival gang. At Nig's funeral, Jake is confronted by Beth and his younger son, Sonny (Clint Eruera), who feels Jake abandoned his family and doesn't mind telling him so. Sonny decides he must avenge Nig's death and joins forces with Nig's girlfriend Tania (Nancy Brunning) and his pal Mookie (Tammy Davis) to exact their own kind of justice. However, an unpleasant run-in with the Black Snakes gang only earns them more enemies. Jake, meanwhile, is dropped by his girlfriend and sinks even deeper into the abyss of his demons. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted? was directed by Ian Mune, continuing the story begun by filmmaker Lee Tamahori.
    Martin D Super Reviewer
  • May 21, 2008
    <i>"We coulda bin good together, eh gil?"</i> <p> Lee Tamahori's 1994 low budget New Zealand film <i>Once Were Warriors</i> was critically commended and praised for its uncompromising, potent examination of the sinister side of the Maori population. Due to its colossal universal sensation it was virtually predestined that the studio would demand a sequel. In this case, <i>Once Were Warriors</i> is far too brilliant and unbeatable; consequently nobody ever expected this sequel to surpass its forerunner. Films like <i>Once Were Warriors</i> are austerely one-off successes. Nevertheless, <i>What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?</i> stands on its own intrinsic worth as an outstanding movie that is different in its own unique way. <br> It has been five years since the events of the first movie. We resume the story of Jake 'The Muss' Heke (Morrison): a man whose sweltering temper interfered with his family, progressively giving them additional incentive to leave him. The first movie was a story of his wife Beth (Owens); however this film barely concerns Beth at all - in fact we hardly even see her - instead this is the story of Jake and his search for redemption. Jake realises that his fiery anger only detached him from his family. He recognises that he has serious problems affecting his life, and he must confront them to prevent further loss. <br> The story of <i>What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?</i> is separated into two threads. The first thread is of Jake Heke's pursuit for salvation, and the second is of Jake's son Sonny (Eruera) who clouds his future by joining a rancorous street gang. Sonny wants revenge on the gang who were responsible for the murder of his brother. These two threads of narrative are united with a bang towards the film's conclusion. <br> This film is extremely different to the style and storytelling of its predecessor. <i>What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?</i> still delivers a mighty kick in the gut and is an uncompromising story; however the original is far more raw around the edges and abundant in mature themes. This film showcases a lot of profanity and some strong violence, especially when it comes to utilisation of firearms. Lots of brutal violence is featured in the scenes that feature Jake bashing up a few characters. The end gang fight is especially heavy and really hits home. <br> This potent drama is fuelled by some terrific performances. Some people will complain about the thick New Zealand accents. This complaint is obligatory for most American audiences. However the accents add realism and potency to the film. Temuera Morrison is nothing short of outstanding with his a passionate, poignant portrayal of a man living a tragic life. When the sizzling temper of Jake Heke takes control it's impossible to fault his complete concentration. Towards the end of the film in particular his performance will leave you absolutely speechless. Morrison's performance towers above anyone else in the cast. In a sense he's the prominent leader being supported by a group of grunts. Of course the rest of the cast do a good job...they just can't match the brilliance of Morrison. <br> Ian Mune must have been nervous about taking the reigns after Lee Tamahori directed the first instalment. Similar to the first movie, Mune is able to establish a raw atmosphere that examines people at their lowest ebb. The first film was shot using grainy photography to make it feel raw and authentic. This effect has been completely retracted here, unfortunately. <br> Overall, <i>What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?</i> is a solid, strong sequel to the excellent <i>Once Were Warriors</i>. It's fascinating to see a refined Jake Heke who has changed his ways and has confronted his problems. On the contrary the character is a lot stronger and better developed in the first movie. This character alteration is both good and bad: draw your own verdict. Do not consider watching this film if you haven't seen the original. If you have seen the original it is not vital to see this one, although it is an interesting continuation of the story.
    Cal ( Super Reviewer
  • Mar 21, 2007
    Not as good as the first one, but it's still a great movie.
    The M Super Reviewer

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