Taika Waititi. Does that name sound familiar to you? You might recognise this director all the way from New Zealand from his recent work- ‘Thor: Ragnarok’ (2017) which he directed and also appeared as the very funny character Korg in the film. If one takes a look at his work, he’s also been nominated for an Academy Award for directing a short film ‘Two Cars, One Night’ (2004) and has gone to make a few films which have broken New Zealand box office records. What Taika does so well is mastering both the happy and tragic aspects of cinema in order to create beautifully absurd and poignant representations of the world. His brand of humour is very unique, polite and a little more subtle than the obvious. He exposes both the flaws and virtues of human nature quite brilliantly.
Taika’s stories are profound, honest and never pretentious. He doesn’t paint the picture, he gently dumps his audiences in a seat just off centre and brushes away the blur. Taika is no stranger to the screen- he has acted in almost of his films, sometimes even as the main cast like in ‘Boy’ for example. What makes him so likeable is that if you’ve ever observed him in either bloopers of a movie or in interviews, he behaves like a lovable goofball, always smiling and joking around. At the Academy Awards back in 2005, he famously feigned falling asleep as the nominations for best short film category were being read out. His comedic timings and impressions are terrific. Waititi’s next project is ‘Jojo Rabbit’, an upcoming dark comedy film directed and written by him which is a satire on Neo-Nazis where he plays Adolf Hitler himself. Simply putting it, Taika Waititi is easily the best New Zealand film director working today after Peter Jackson. With that said, here is the list of best Taika Waititi movies, selected from his impressive filmography.
This coming-of-age comedy-drama directed by Waititi takes place in rural New Zealand in 1984 where Boy, a Maori Kid is thrilled at the prospect of seeing his absentee father (played by Waititi himself) back after serving some time in prison. This film shows us the burden of reality and fantasy as throughout the film, Boy constructs heroic versions of his father in order to excuse his absence like his father was the captain of the rugby team, a master carver, a deep-sea treasure diver and so on. Taika truly shows the humanity and imperfections in all of us. Overall, this film evokes the emotions of imagination, love, disappointment, hope, optimism and future acknowledgement of forgiveness. In the words of Waititi himself, “I want to explore the painful comedy of growing up and interpreting the world. I believe that despite our faults and inadequacies, through all pain and heartache, there is still room to laugh.”
Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)