Boy

Taika Waitiki
Film // August 9, 2016

Father knows best or at least that’s what protagonist Boy hoped for when his father returned back home after a stint in jail. Boy’s father is a biker gang leader, free-spirited rebel, and overall badass–his indomitable swagger has Boy envisioning him as a New Zealand Michael Jackson. Boy loves Michael Jackson.

Taika Waitiki, best known for his vampire comedy, What We Do in the Shadows, has constructed a reunion story that plays with mismatched expectations to tear-jerking effect. There’s plenty of charm and fast comedy to be found in Boy, but Waitiki excels here with his exploration of Boy’s illusions towards his father. As Boy starts to see his initial idolization crumble in the face of a father who leads a reckless lifestyle, he must confront a reality where father might not know best.