Sunday, 4 December 2016
Starring Auli'i Cravalho, Dwayne Johnson, Rachel House, Temuera Morrison, Jemaine Clement, Nicole Scherizinger and Alan Tudyk. Written by Jared Bush. Directed by Ron Clements and John Musker. Budget $150 million. Running time 103 minutes. Cert PG.
A prologue explains how, in the beginning, the heart of the island goddess, Te Fiti is stolen by the demigod, Maui (Dwayne Johnson) and lost in the ocean.
A thousand years later Moana Waialiki (Auli'i Cravalho), the daughter of a Polynesian island chief sets out on a quest to force Maui to help her return the stone heart to Te Fiti and thus restore her island paradise to its former glory. And that's it, plot wise.
This is a breath-taking beautiful movie to look at, truly exquisite. The attention to detail is perfection as is the portrayal of the Polynesian people, who are never shown in anything other than a glowing light. This seems to my ignorant eyes to strenuously avoid stereotyping either its heroine or her people and the relationship between the chieftains daughter and the demi god is built on grudging friendship rather than love and that's a welcome addition. Similarly when Maui tells her to stay behind while he deals with a situation isn't because she's a girl, but that she's only human. Likewise, we never have to suffer watching Maui become a better person or learn any valuable life lessons.
Fantastically entertaining, beautiful to look at and only marred by a selection of songs that feel jarring, particularly Jermaine Clements and his turn as a giant crab. This was a charming and wonderful movie that left me with a warm glow and a spring in my step.