By Chanz Mikaere
SPOILER ALERT- The Dead Lands…I am not giving away the plot…
As far as gratuitous violence and kick arse, blood soaked fight sequences go…AWESOME. Hey, I like that shit! Note too, we are used to the Hollywood epic fight scenes that give you the whole distance shot to see what the weapons do…as we know everything mau rakau is up close and personal…so are the fight scenes. The screen shots are not designed to be like Hollywood…instead you are close enough to get the blood splashed all over you! You can just about taste the sweat!
It is nothing like a “Maori Apocalypto”…I think it is closer to 300…but 8! lol. There has been nothing like it in Maori cinema so far and it has it’s place. To think that we were always noble natives is a crock…there is a ruthlessness in the characters that is totally fitting of the story line. If you are going to come at this movie with “academic lenses” get over it. Watch it for the pure enjoyment of an action packed drama.
Lawrence Makoare had the strongest performance. Damn Bro, you took it to another level! Xavier Horan showed some grit and depth. Te Kohe Tuhaka’s arrogance as the bad dude was fitting and MEAN! It was also great to see James Rolleston break out of the typecast as the Vodafone kid: the remnants of Boy are gone.
The visual switches between communication with wairua and “reality” in the film are unapologetic and clear. Good, it is about time that there was no need to justify the way that we have and maintain these relationships with our tupuna.
The critical Artist in me was watching for details and the costuming was believable and worthy of adorning the buff Brothers on screen. Hell, I will say it, total objectification of Taane Maori…and totally worth it.
Female roles…This movie was not designed for strong female roles. If you have a problem with it, WRITE A MOVIE, WITH THOSE ROLES.
Seriously, it is worth going to see if you are into action….blood guts etc…
Nga mihi to TangataWhenua.com: Maori News & Views for the ticket and opportunity for a nohi…
BIO CHANZ MIKAERE
Of Te Arawa and Mataatua descent, Chanz has completed her Master of Maori Visual Arts thesis with Toioho ki Apiti, Massey University in 2012. Chanz has been a practising Artist for 16 years dabbling in diverse media ranging from glass to printmaking, sculpture, painting and weaving. For those who are interested in Kapahaka, the most recognised piece of Chanzs work to date is the stage backdrop of the Te Matatini National Kapahaka Competition 2009.
She is a poet and writes political commentaries to complement the Art making. Her work is featured in the National Collective of Independent Refuges Maori Growth Strategy.