Boy (2010), by director Taika Waititi, is set in New Zealand, which is evident from the music as the opening shots unfold. There is a lighthearted undertone to it which is perfect for this beautifully awkward comedy.
A quote from E.T. The Exterrestial opens the film: “You could be happy here. We could grow up together.” This quote says so much for the movie. Set in 1984, Boy, played by James Rolleston, lives with his Nana, his younger brother Rocky, and several of his cousins. Boy has grown up without his Mother and his Father. His Mother died giving birth to Rocky and his Father went to prison for robbery shortly after Boy was born. Regardless, Boy defends his parents and has an idealistic look upon almost everything.
Boy’s innocence gets him in trouble with other kids who tease him for thinking so highly of his Dad. We see how Boy views his Father with dream like memories of his Dad fighting off dozens of men with one arm, dancing like his musical idol, Michael Jackson, etc. But when Boy’s Father, Alamein, played by Writer/Director Taika Waititi, shows up one day, Boy must learn to deal with the hurt that comes along with his return.
Alamein is not prepared for, nor capable enough at this point in his life to be a father to two young boys. He is selfish and immature, only looking out for his best interests. When he first arrives, Boy is overjoyed and follows Alamein everywhere, doing whatever he does, as any young boy would do to his father. But throughout the film, Alamein’s true self is revealed to Boy, driving a wedge between the two little by little.
After breaking out of prison, Alamein’s return home is only to dig up a hidden stash of cash he buried before he was captured by the police. Digging for days and not finding anything, Alamein starts loses his patience and takes off. Boy continues digging on his own and eventually finds the hidden stash, though he keeps it secret, hiding it in the car parked near his pet goat’s cage.
Boy is a great film that explores the ways in which children idolize their parents. But there comes a point in all children when they wake up and face reality. They see their parents for what they really are. It’s how they respond to the knowledge of their parents that demonstrates a child’s growth.
Boy is now available on DVD and also for video on demand on iTunes, XBox Video and Sony Playstation.