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Most people seem to cover the plot adequately but completely miss the point of what is truly
going on here. Ray Winstone plays a displaced South African who lost everything in the Boer War.
Temuera Morrison plays a native New Zealand Maori who has witnessed the demise of his family and
culture to the British Empire as well. While the plot is about the one man tracking the other in
the beautiful New Zealand countryside, the movie is really about these two men finding themselves
again. Morrison left New Zealand at a young age and has returned for a reason. Winstone has lost
home and family and is looking for his own salvation. While on the surface, the movie is the plodding
tracking of an accused criminal, it is really the story of these two men finding redemption
in their own lives ... and just a little bit of payback to the Empire thrown in for fun. This is not
a movie to sleep your way through, you need to pay attention to the back stories of these two characters
to truly understand their actions. The movie is rated R for some blood and guts, but this is a story
written by someone who knows something about life and the human condition. From the terms I've used,
I'd say I consider this a very spiritual movie, but I suspect the traditional church crowd might have
some issues with that. A wonderful story, with beautiful scenery and a little surprise at the end that
should speak very loudly to the viewer.
On arrival he is picked up by the authorities, as he was a notorious Boer guerrilla fighter. He is quickly released, and then a turn of events causes the British to commission him for help. That comes in the form of a Maori whaler, who after jumping ship gets caught in a compromising position with a lady of the night, and the drunken soldiers decide to teach `the savage' a lesson. In the ensuing fight one of them is killed, Kereama (Temuera Morrison) does a runner - as he knows he will be blamed.
Mr Winstone is then engaged to track him down. The film then takes us on a tour of the beautiful landscape of New Zealand, it is wonderful cinematography and the direction is superb from Ian Sharp. The plot is one of cat and mouse and the more that the two men discover about each other; the more they find they have in common. They trade passages from the scriptures in a psychological game to out do each other. This is not an action movie, but a drama/thriller according to the box, it is also a story of the human spirit. Ray Winstone does a really good job and this is despite being well outside his normal `comfort zone' of the cockney gangster type. His accent sounds pretty good too. There is some obvious sign posting to plot development, but that does not spoil things.Read more ›
Major Carlyle enlists and promises Arajan a bounty to capture Kereama who is accused of killing the soldier.
Arajan catches up with Kereamea, who protests his innocence, but repeatedly escapes and is recaptured. Arajan and Kereamea get to know each other and a bonding of sorts occurs they then respect each other, and there is a showdown with British troops led by Major Carlyle. The outline of the plot kept brief so as not spoil. The landscapes and wilderness are breath taking, and fare amount of effort is made to make it look like the early 1900s. You need to pay attention to Ray Winston's characters back story as it is important, and leads to a much better understanding who he is and why he does what he does.
There are a small number of rather negative reviews about the film and while some aspects of the criticism levelled and have some slight merit, this film is rather good. This is not Sexy Beast or harsh east end London film and yes Ray Winston's accent is slightly poor, although it's not that bad. This film is certainly worth seeing, and if you're worried that you will dislike like it then rent it at least.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not award winning film or acting but entertaining if you like western themes.Published 7 months ago by Cynthia E Ames
Great story of two men who are completely different but find, that they are the same,
the movie shows you the beautiful terain of New Zealand.