Books and Movies Reviews

Whale Rider Characterization

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.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.In Maori legend,
the Father arrives on the humpback of a whale to give life to the tribe.A
chosen son must arrive in the same way in order to revive live whenever the
tribe is suffering. Pai shows all of the signs of the second coming,
including leadership and affinity with the whales and martial arts.
However, she is female, and her affinity must be suppressed, which serves
Within Whale Rider, the characterization of Pai ultimately reveals a
complex and spiritual force in the shape of a 12-year-old girl.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.From the beginning of the movie, Pai
The viewer soon learns that she has many qualities that seem to


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