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The Mountain – Film Review

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Okay, Let me ask you to combine humor, kiwi culture, heartfelt emotions, te ao Māori, and the importance of your ancestry into a movie. Pretty hard right? Not for Rachel House! 

Made from a script established by Tom Furniss and then co-written by Rachel House, The Mountain follows the story of Sam (Elizabeth Atkinson) who is connected to Mount Taranaki and hopes that the mountain will cure and heal her from the Cancer in her body. Before climbing the mountain, she comes across Mallory (Reuben Francis), who is still grieving the loss of his Mother. After Mallory decides to come along, being named the sherpa and heaving a big load of supplies, so does Broncho (Terence Daniel), a cheeky little fellow with a talkative mouth who is adamant to care for the environment and has a deep connection to his Māori Culture.

But, deep within the humor and the goal of reaching the top, each of the characters have their own mountains that they have to overcome. Mallory has the recent passing away of his Mother, and then had to move to a new town and make new friends. Broncho is trying to escape his Dad who can’t seem to find the time for him, along with his one true love (a BMX bike) . Each of the kids work together to try to help each other overcome their ‘mountain’. One of the main things that I took away from the movie was that, even if we have our ‘mountains’, sometimes we can’t actually get to the top of them. And, it is okay that we don’t achieve our mountains, because there are so many people that care about you and are there for you if you don’t get to the top of the mountain. 

Not only do the children each have their ‘mountains, but the parents do too. Mallory’s dad is also grieving the loss of his wife, and has the struggle of no friends. Broncho’s Dad can’t seem to find the time for his son, and he feels guilty. Sam’s mum is very overprotective of Sam, and she has been hiding her dad from her. 

Some of the most astounding bits in the movie is the cinematography and the panoramic shots of the beautiful Mount Taranaki. The cinematic value of having such a grand Mountain lead a picture captures the moment and the ancestry that they were standing on. Director of Photography Matt Henley made sure to deliver a tonne of shots that capture Taranaki’s majesty, which made The Mountain’s big-screen showing much grander.
One thing I did find a little lacking in the film was some of the story lines. It would have been nice if there were a few more action shots and more depth to some of the subplots. At one part of the film Sam injures her leg but the reason for this is unclear and there is no reference to it further in the story. 

In Rachel House’s masterful weaving of humor, heartfelt emotions, and Te Ao Māori, “The Mountain” is a cinematic marvel, of a human connection and ancestral reverence. Through the journey of Sam, Mallory, and Broncho, each grappling with their own metaphorical mountains, the film not only entertains but also enlightens, reminding us of the bonds between friends and whānau. 


Hey movie fans! 🎬 If you just finished reading our review of “The Mountain” and you’re feeling inspired to write your own film review, you’re in the right place! Writing a review can be a lot of fun, and we’ve got some easy steps to help you get started. Whether you’re a seasoned critic or just getting into the world of film, these simple instructions will guide you through the process. So grab your popcorn and let’s dive in! 🍿

Before you start we suggest that you download this Movie Review Planning Sheet to help you organise your thoughts and ideas.

  1. Introduction: Start by saying what the movie is about and who made it.
  2. What Happens: Explain what happens in the movie, but don’t give away all the surprises.
  3. What It’s About: Talk about the big ideas in the movie, like friendship, bravery, or solving problems.
  4. Acting and Directing: Say if you liked how the actors played their parts and if the director did a good job making everything look cool.
  5. How It Looks: Describe how the movie looks. Did you like the pictures and special effects?
  6. Sounds and Music: Talk about the sounds in the movie, like the voices and the music. Did they help make the movie exciting?
  7. Compare and Connect: Think about other movies you’ve seen or books you’ve read that are like this one. Say if you liked this movie better or not.
  8. What You Think: Share your thoughts about the movie. Did you have fun watching it? Would you tell your friends to see it?
  9. Wrap Up: Sum up what you thought about the movie. Then finish by saying if you think other kids should watch it too.

Good luck and if you complete a movie review that your think would be good for Kiwi Kids News then email us your text.

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