I had certain expectations before watching this film. I was expecting it to be a charming, little drama film with bits of comedy in it. I was expecting it to focus more on the overall message of the film than entertainment.
I was pleasantly surprised then to find this film to be very funny, well acted & directed, entertaining and informative. It surpassed all of my expectations & it’s probably one of my favourite films of 2016.
There’s very little wrong or bad with the film. The cast is brilliant, the two leads are great in their roles, perfectly creating layered characters & balancing the drama with the comedy exceptionally well.
Directing and cinematography is also great. The film isn’t just about the characters or their story, the locations play a large role in the film & the gorgeous cinematography really highlights that.
Adding to this, there are some great uses of editing and montage throughout the film, making the film stylish and flashy but not obnoxiously so. One editing feat I want to praise is the way in which the film never lingers on a scene, particularly some of the more emotional scenes. By cutting away from these scenes at just the right time, the emotional scenes maintain their gravitas & the film quickly & easily returns to its fun tone.
The soundtrack is also good & catchy, giving the film and appropriate, quirky & energetic atmosphere.
The only small element of the film that I didn’t like was a scene featuring a fight between a dog & a bore. This scene is integral to the plot & characters, but on a personal level it’s a tough watch as I can’t stand seeing animals dying or suffering (even if it’s fake). There’s also some awkward CGI in this scene that’s a bit glaring and distracting.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople is a charming, often hilarious film that’s been expertly made on just about every level. It’s undoubtedly one of 2016’s best films & it’s definitely a must see.