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Caro and her cinematographer, Leon Narbey, let the audience be seduced by the daunting power, rather than overwhelming viewers with it.
Ultimately, Pai's characterization as visionary illustrates the director's view that culture must embrace truth above tradition, and her respect for her grandfather shows the director's Whale rider is told in the context of a Maori tribe in modern New Zealand.
The movie tells the story of a young girl, Pai, and her grandfather Karo who must struggle with adapting a patriarchal Maori legend with the Pai's seeming affinity with sacred traditions.
Her patient grandmother Nanny Flowers (Vicky Haughton) encourages Pai to give things time; Nanny Flowers also refuses to crumple under the galling chauvinism of her husband.
But Pai has endured the suffering for all of her 12 years.
In Maori legend, the Father arrives on the humpback of a whale to give life to the tribe.
Queen Kat Carmel And St Jude Essay - Whale Rider Essay Summary
A chosen son must arrive in the same way in order to revive live whenever the tribe is suffering.Her instinctive underplaying gives '' Whale Rider'' an added gravity, with the lush remoteness of the landscape serving as an entrancing contrast to the sugar-rush, you-go-girl empowerment of programmed pandering like '' The Lizzie Mc Guire Movie,'' whose tweener heroine flails her arms and bats her eyes as if she were sending distress signals.The director demonstrates a class and tact that brand '' Whale Rider,'' which opens today in New York and Los Angeles, as more than a time-filler for young moviegoers or an ironman competition for adults accompanying them.When he bothers to pay attention to her at all, it's through a sharp cutting of his eyes in her direction.Tradition dictates that the first-born grandson step into the role of chief, but Pai -- named Paikea by her father, after the tribe's ancient ancestor, who legend says arrived in the village on the back of a whale -- is all the family has.Pai's natural rectitude -- the way she plays both pride and hurt -- is even used by Ms. Pai's prickly grandfather Koro (Rawiri Paratene) displays a contempt for her that is like a deadpan force of nature itself.Koro, the tribal chief, wanted a grandson to take on his mantle.Pai's father deserted her after the death of her twin brother and mother during childbirth, driven away by his father's intense expectation that he father a son to carry on the patriarchal line.Pai grows up under the wing of her stern but loving grandfather, Karo.In the movie Whale Rider, the characterization of Pai is an important component of both the movement of the story and an important insight into director Niki Caro's vision for the theme and meaning of the film.Pai's poised and gentle assurance gives the viewer with an understanding that she is truly the tribe's chosen leader, and this conflict against her grandfather's ultimately ill-fated belief that the leader cannot be a girl drives the movement of the story.