Polynesia finally gets its moment in the sun with this family drama set in an isolated Samoan village. The Orator provides a cinematic window into contemporary life on the island as well as an overview of more traditional aspects of Samoan culture. More
The film is a co-production with New Zealand and some of our most highly respected technicians make strong contributions. Cinematographer Leon Narbey and sound designer Tim Prebble combine to create a setting rich with lush, natural colour and atmospheric touches on the soundtrack. The result is an authentic world with a mythical quality that seems in tune with the palpable emotional content of the story. This is a movie that is more concerned with the importance of the characters’ intimate moments than it is with a fast-moving plot.
Populating the cast is a predominantly untrained collection of locals. Their low key performances fit the mood and universal themes of the film, while a few moments of well-executed comic relief are on hand when things need livening up. Rookie writer/director Tusi Tamasese juggles these technical elements well but it’s the obvious empathy for his characters that is the most pleasing hallmark of his feature length debut.
The Orator won’t be for everyone, as it unfolds at a pace some may find catatonically slow and lacks any eye-catching flash. However, it’s an undoubtedly sincere statement about a unique corner of the world. Hide