“Whale Rider” (2002) is a movie about a young girl who fights against the age-old tradition that the first-born son will become chief of her tribe. An idea stemming from the boy who supposedly populated New Zealand by riding there on the back of a whale.
Here I present the main key plot points.
1. A name of legendary a boy Paikea, who populated New Zealand, was given to newborn girl who will be the main character of the movie. The frame position emphasises the girl’s father’s mixed emotion of sadness, loss and dissaproval.
2. Paikea’s father accidentily reveals that he is expecting a child with a girlfriend who is from Germany. The bright colors of the clothing emphasize and highlight the happy mood of the two characters.
3. The main character doesn’t leave New Zealand, because she sensed a whale from the ocean.The framing draws attention to how strong Paikea’s connection with the ocean is by having her face the coast, while also showing how detatched her father has become from the ocean, by having him face away from the coast.
4. Despite Paikea not being allowed to train with other potential chiefs, she begins to train with her uncle. The light and vibrancy of the colors show a jovial and lighthearted mood. However, the framing draws attention to Paikea’s uncle’s facial expression as he performs the traditional fighting technique that every potential chief must master by placing him in the center of the image.
5.The whales lost their will to live because Paikea’s grandfather disturbed the natural balance of the tribe’s relationship with the ocean. The morbid and gloomy lighting of this scene help to give the viewer the foreboding sense of death.
6.Paikea rides on the back of a whale and relives the legend of the boy who brought her people to New Zealand. The framing focuses on the tribe facing the ocean as Paikea rides on the back of the whale, while the muted color shows the shock of those standing on the shore.
7.Protagonist becomes the chief of the Maori tribe, and forever breaks the tradition that only first born boys can rule. The clear blue sky and bright colors represent the serenity of the celebration as a new chief comes to rule.