Whale-y bad movie is misunderstood by viewers

If you’re a freshman, there’s a good chance you saw the cinematic masterpiece that is Whale Rider during the morning activity period Oct. 19. For those of you who didn’t see it, you missed out on quite possibly the weirdest experience I’ve ever had.

The movie starts with a baby girl being born into a long line of native chiefs — the first woman to be born into the chief bloodline. Feeling like a disappointment to her native tribe, young Kahu Paikea desperately tries to impress her grandfather by learning the tribal rituals, only to be shot down time after time because she’s “only a girl.” Her grandfather even starts an all-boys school specifically for tribal rituals, forcing Kahu to wait around the corner for her male friends to tell her what happened that day.

The whole school that Kahu’s grandfather made really deprived these kids of an actual education. What if they want to grow up and have a job that requires a degree, and the only thing they learned throughout middle school and high school was how to fight with sticks and scream at each other? Although there was some hilarity to the school kids slapping themselves as a lesson plan, there is no real plot. Seriously, I have no idea what the plot was supposed to be other than her wanting to ride a whale. Not only that, everyone in the movie was very unreasonable. I mean, what makes more sense than throwing your most prized possession in the ocean and telling some kids to go get it? The whale tooth necklace is a sign of power and seniority. The chief deserves to have this necklace, too bad chucked it into the ocean just to teach some kids a lesson. I felt bad for him; I mean, he is the tribal leader and he lost his symbolic chief necklace in the ocean because he trusted his students too much. Maybe if all of his students were able to swim, he would be able to get his most prized possession back.

The movie took a dark turn when Kahu’s whole family practically shunned her for singing to the whales and finding many beached whales the very next day. Obviously this 11-year- old girl was responsible for dozens of whales dying. Good thing she eventually won her family’s love back by becoming the literal whale rider. After everyone in the tribe gives up on trying to drag a beached whale back into the ocean, Kahu stays behind, hugs it, whispers loving words to it … then she somehow manages to climb a beached whale and convince it to go back to the ocean, with her still on top of it. Her family didn’t even notice she was gone until she was too far to reach. They just sat there and cried while the youngest member of the family was being carried out to sea on the back of a whale. If you’re worried she drowned or got killed by the formerly beached whale, don’t be. She miraculously appears in a hospital bed, her grandfather by her side worshiping her for being an actual whale rider. So it all worked out in the end. I couldn’t tell you how it did, but it did.

This movie gets a 10/10 for humor and originality, but if you’re watching it to learn about culture or see a heartwarming story about an 11-year-old girl, it’s a 0/10. Quite frankly I enjoyed myself while watching this movie. Of course I felt bad treating a sad movie about a little girl in a native tribe like a comedy, but I couldn’t resist laughing. I would highly recommend this movie to anyone in the mood for a good laugh.