Title – Storm Boy (2019)
Director – Shawn Seet (Two Fists, One Heart)
Cast – Geoffrey Rush, Jai Courtney, Finn Little, Trevor Jamieson, Morgana Davies
Plot – Grandfather Michael Kingley (Rush) recounts the story of his childhood as a young boy (Little) to his young granddaughter Madeline (Davies), a childhood spent growing up on a remote island with his widowed father Tom (Courtney) and best friend and Pelican Mr. Percival.
“Tell me about growing up on the beach”
Review by Eddie on 9/05/2019
Based on both the well-loved 1964 novel by Australian author Colin Thiele and a remake of the classic Australian film of the same name from 1976, 2019’s updated version of Storm Boy came and went with relatively little fanfare earlier this year in a jam-packed January marketplace which is a shame, as while not particularly ground-breaking or overly memorable, Shawn Seet’s well-filmed new take on the old tale is still a film with heartfelt messages and themes.
Filmed in the picturesque surrounds of the South Australia coastline, Storm Boy is a polished Australian production featuring the renowned Geoffrey Rush, the well-liked Jai Courtney and new comer Finn Little, who help to make this small tale of Rush’s elderly Mike Kingley reminiscing about his childhood spent growing up with his widowed father Hideaway Tom played by Courtney, on a remote stretch of beach land filled with abundant birdlife that includes his best friend, pelican Mr. Percival.
Played well by Little, Mike makes for a likable central figure, both as a starry eyed child and a more weathered elder statesman, worn down by corporate business life and it’s an important component to Seet’s film that we are engaged with Mike’s journey that’s filled with a number of confronting instances, that thankfully this modern day Storm Boy doesn’t shy away from.
In many ways it’s a slight tale, one you can predict the outcome of very early on but it does nothing to put a dampener on the films innocent nature and important messages about life, love and animal conservation, all of which remain just as universally paramount as they did when Thiele concocted his tale many moons ago.
It’s also undeniable that the sweet natured friendship between Mike and his pelican friend is adorable.
There’s nothing twee about this odd couple friendship, as Mr. Percival helps Mike come to terms with the wider world he’s been kept away by his hermit-like existence with his father, while Mr. Percival also generates an important friendship between Mike and fellow island dweller Fingerbone Bill (played well by Trevor Jamison, in a role made famous originally by David Gulpilil) who offers Mike a wider perspective on the world, whilst also helping produce a lovely batch of fish guts dinner for their young pelican friends.
At the end of the day there are a number of cliché and overly-soapy moments in Storm Boy, holding it back from any great feats of success but there are far worse family orientated films to partake in, marking Storm Boy down as a high quality local offering that can be seen by a wide audience the world over.
Final Say –
With its universal themes and kind-hearted nature, this modern Storm Boy may not reinvent the wheel or better its predecessor but remains a likable tale that can be enjoyed by the whole family.
3 pelican feathers out of 5