Hunt for the Wilderpeople

hunt1

Director: Taika Waititi
Writer: Taika Waititi (screenplay), Barry Crump (author of “Wild Pork and Watercress”) and Te Arepa Kahi
Released: 2016
Starring: Sam Neill, Julian Dennison, Rachel House, Rima Te Wiata, Stan Walker, Oscar Knightly, Rhys Darby…

I really needed this film in my life.

Another Kiwi classic from director Taika Waititi, Hunt for the Wilderpeople is about a national manhunt ordered for a rebellious Kiwi kid, Ricky (Julian Dennison), and his foster uncle, Hec (Sam Neill), who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.

[Reading wanted poster]: “‘Faulkner (Sam Neill) is cauc-asian’… Well, they got that wrong because you’re obviously white.” – Ricky Baker

A fantastically hilarious and beautiful tribute to everything that is Kiwi.

Sam Neill and Julian Dennison in hunt for the wilderpeople

After moving back to the UK, I didn’t realise how much I missed New Zealand until I bought the DVD of Hunt for the Wilderpeople. I also didn’t realise how much I identify with the Kiwi ways of life before finishing this movie.

For I can relate to the Kiwiana culture that courses through this movie, the humour, the landscape, the accent – once a cause for embarrassment to me, is now a twang that makes me feel overwhelmingly nostalgic and patriotic. I have concluded that the only English thing about me left is my crooked teeth.

I finished watching this movie with mascara running down my face (mostly due to nostalgic tears of joy and laughter) and an empty packet of Whittaker’s chocolate in my hand, while my feet were cosy in my New Zealand sheepskin slippers (you wouldn’t know it’s currently summer in the UK).

The main character, 12-year-old Julian Dennison, was absolutely phenomenal. He needn’t say much at all – his facial expressions are enough.

But I must say, Paula (Rachel House) has to be my favourite character. She made me laugh so hard! She’s absolutely hilarious. It’s not always what she says, it’s how she says it. Golden!

Paula (Rachel House) in Hunt for the WIlderpeople

“Well, I see he has a rifle. Just keep it away from this little guy. God knows what he’s capable of. OK, he’s all yours. No returns.” – Paula, child welfare

Of course, it wouldn’t be a New Zealand film if it didn’t have Rhys Darby in it! He makes an appearance as “PSYCHO SAM”.

Rhys Darby - Psycho Sam in Hunt for the Wilderpeople

A perfect film for homesick Kiwis. Loved it. I’m about to watch it for a fourth time this week.

Jodie’s rating: 9/10

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About Jodie (NZ Film Freak)

I am a journalism graduate (2014) from New Zealand. I enjoy writing on my blog about films and songs, plus the odd random thought. Currently working as a writer in UK. Follow me on Twitter @NZFilmFreak and like my Facebook page NZ Film Freak. Follow my travels around the world www.jodiehart.co.nz
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