Serve the doorknobs at room temperature and round up the 3 member gang as we immerse ourselves in the 2010 film, Boy.

Director: Taika Waititi

Writer: Taika Waititi

Released: January 2010

Actors: James Rolleston, Te Aho Eketone-Whitu, Taika Waititi

Thank you to our patrons for contributing to the themes throughout our Taika Waititi Reference Degustation.


Directing: Oti felt that even though he hasn’t been to NZ the film was shot in an authentic way. Being taken on a journey where each scene encapsulates a character’s emotions. KT gives all the love and plaudits. You can tell they are writing it from their truth, they didn’t need to hire cultural consultant to get all the details right. It is the pen that you yield and the camera that you helm.


Quirky/eccentric tone: One of the better components in this film are the moments of levity.

Comedy as a way of dealing with harsh realities: There is an element of humour so it isn’t just a tearjerker and we can further resonate. It’s not all sadness and gloominess. There’s an element of fun and humour. Comedy can be used as a way to disarm people. So they are more receptive for the real messages that are about to be delivered.


Belonging: The most important messaging in this film. Boy is struggling to reconnect and finding love from his father. Best performances of a child actor in a long time. Home can mean a lot and it is carried throughout the film.


Childlike Wonder (Precocious kids, The lovable fool): KT offers that Alamein is the lovable fool but Oti does not agree at all. The decisions he made was not of someone trying to dig themselves out. Looking for an exit door instead of who is around. No precocious kids. Rocky fulfilled the parts of us we want to revisit again.

Father son dynamic: Definitely delivered in the film. Whether you like it or not, we have some semblance of father/son dynamic. It’s an ongoing story of revelation. Of Boy rediscovering himself and finding his place in the world. Seeing his journey grow between Rocky and Alamein.

He makes a cameo: More than a cameo as one of the main character.

Real people as fantasy figures: Michael Jackson plays a big part where he symbolised the dreams and aspirations. Before any disillusion set in.

Breakdown and Analysis

  • When you’re a kid you don’t even know you are dealing with is outside of your understanding. That as a kid, you shouldn’t even need to go through.
  • The grittiness that gets applied to your life happens when you get older and reflect on your childhood.
  • There was vulnerability with Alamein. He was a broken person. It feels impossible to ever feel whole again.
  • The boys are forced to prove themselves useful to Alamein and we see this clearly in the weed farm scene. There is no room to feel sorry for Alamein because the of fragments of pain he leaves behind.
  • Oti and KT find common ground when we see the Alamein apology as a fantasy scene. It is that little part of us, even through a film, that can experience healing we will not get in reality.
  • The difference in age reflect the way they consume and be able to reconcile the death of their mother and absence of their father. Siblings prepare you for the real world. Boy was always ready to ready Rocky.
  • There was a touching moment between Rocky and Weirdo. He was so young and nonchalantly mentions him being so strong that’s why his mum died. He was told he had too much powers. His interactions with the Weirdo are the best parts of the film. Rocky feels left out and he missed out on getting to know his mum.
  • ‘Risk your life and be really poor’
  • While Boy still holds some innocence, Dynasty understands real world consequences. She went through a lot and knows exactly how to handle herself.

Unrelated but vital points

  • KT transcended and reached her final form of breakdowns watching Boy. Crying into her ancestor’s bosoms and all.
  • KT references Once Were Warriors being half DMX trauma half levity. Oti retorts it was DMX trauma all the way through.
  • For Your Reference is a perfect balance of talking about trauma and laughing it off.
  • ‘Laugh at nothing, cry at everything’ is on the top of KT’s tattoo list