"The Whale Rider"

Essay by lilyfairchildA+, April 2006

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"If I had known it was gonna be an artsy film, I would [have] ... seen something else."

This is a quote from my roommate Marisa Hernandez, after returning home from a movie date. This statement kept me from seeing Whale Rider when it first came to theaters. She claimed to have fallen asleep in the middle of the show. Her simplified syntagma, "...it's about a girl who rides a whale...", didn't spark my interest. I had never heard of Whale Rider. I had not seen any previews.

So, was my roommate's synopsis correct? Sure. But I found Whale Rider to be made of so much more. As a writer I am going to focus on those devices that serve me in writing a screenplay (and, incidentally, those wonderful beauties that I found living in Whale Rider).

The complex plot pattern tells us in the beginning, through the use of a narrator, what to expect somewhat throughout the story, and more so, in the end.

Each action is not without the other; that is to say the scenes need one another to hold clout, but this is a wonderful tool. This draws us into our suspension of disbelief. We want to believe in this little girl. She seems to already believe in herself. We want to live vicariously through her; finding strength to go against the grain, to be daring, to allow our own personal power to shine through and empower others to do the same. Isn't that why we go to the movies? To learn how to shine.

I must admit it took me a couple of minutes to accustom myself to the language of the New Zealand Mauri people, causing me to miss some of the introduction. Thankfully, because the writing was so concise, I...