‘Boy,’ reviewed by Marshall Fine


Writer-director Taika Waititi may be the founder of his own school of humor: call it “cruel-reality” comedy, Kiwi division, as practiced in his film, “Eagle vs. Shark,” and now his semi-autobiographical “Boy.”

Told from the first-person perspective of the title character, “Boy” is the story of what happens one week when Granny is called away to funeral, leaving a half-dozen kids to fend for themselves under the watchful eye of the titular character, Boy (James Rolleston), who hasn’t quite crested the plateau of puberty.

Boy has an imaginative younger brother Rocky (Te Aho Eketone-Whitu), who is semi-convinced that he has mental super-powers. They and their young cousins shortly find their lives invaded by Alamein (Waititi), Boy and Rocky’s long-absent father. Their mother died giving birth to Rocky (hence, his belief that he killed her with his super-powers) and their father, a half-assed wannabe gangster, has just been a legend to them, though, in reality, he’s been off in jail for a bank robbery.

Alamein turns up unexpectedly, accompanied by a pair of mates, and takes over the house and Boy’s life, while trying to plot his own comeback. But his braggadocio about what he’ll do (as opposed to what he actually does) prove eye-opening, even to the worshipful Boy.

This review continues on my website.

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