Hunt for the Wilderpeople: A Heart-Warming Story

I was completely unaware of this movie (by Taiki Waititi) until it showed up on my Twitter timeline. I watched it as soon as possible since I really liked the movie’s poster and story-line: “A national manhunt is ordered for a rebellious kid and his foster uncle who go missing in the wild New Zealand bush.”

Jullian Dennison as “Ricky Baker”

While the movie has a European cinema feeling in terms of its pacing and cinematography, it successfully gains momentum each time as the story moves forward in an entertaining and sad style. It is actually a great example of “Magical Realism” coming alive across jaw-dropping New Zealand landscapes. The story is not an old-fashioned manhunt and it manages to address a number of themes including foster parenting, coming of age, abusing, man-wildlife relationship etc. Even though you don’t fall in love with the starring characters right away, the character development is such a great work that both Jullian Dennison (Ricky) and Sam Neill (Hector) end up deeply shaping one another while making viewers fully witness their adventure.

Here are some of the quotes from the movie:

Trees. Birds. Rivers. Sky. / Running with my Uncle Hec / Living forever. (Ricky)
[reading wanted poster] “Faulkner is cauc-asian” — well, they got that wrong because you’re obviously white. (Ricky)
I didn’t choose the skuxx life, the skuxx life chose me. (Ricky)
Trailer for Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Bonus: The accents throughout the movie! (As a teacher, I think this movie could be integrated into ESL classroom in order to discuss global Englishes and a number of sociolinguistic issues surrounding it)

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