Movie Review: Finding ʻOhana 2021
Rating: ★★★★☆ (4/5)
As soon as the opening scene of “Finding ʻOhana” begins, it’s evident that you’re in for a thrilling and heartwarming ride. Directed by Jude Weng, this family adventure film promises to take you on an unforgettable journey filled with discovery, nostalgia, and the undeniable bonds of kinship.
The plot revolves around siblings Pili (Kea Peahu) and Ioane (Alex Aiono), who find themselves reluctantly traveling from bustling New York City to their ancestral home in rural Hawaii. While adjusting to their new surroundings may be challenging at first, they soon embark on an extraordinary treasure hunt that unearths buried secrets from their family’s past.
The young actors deliver compelling performances, portraying the sibling dynamic authentically. Kea Peahu effortlessly captures Pili’s determination and curiosity, while Alex Aiono shines as Ioane journeys towards self-realization. Their journey is made even more enjoyable by a skillfully constructed ensemble cast that brings a diverse range of characters to life.
Jude Weng’s direction strikes a perfect balance between humor and heartfelt moments throughout the film. The pacing keeps you engaged without feeling rushed or dragged out – making it accessible for both younger viewers and adults alike. Furthermore, Weng masterfully incorporates Hawaiian cultural elements into the story, providing valuable insights into traditions while showcasing breathtaking natural landscapes.
One aspect that truly resonates with viewers is the movie’s exceptional score by Joseph Trapanese. The combination of traditional Hawaiian music with contemporary sounds brings layers of emotion to key scenes, complementing the visuals flawlessly. Trapanese has captured both excitement and tenderness in his compositions — making them an integral part of the storytelling experience.
Cinematography plays a significant role in immersing the audience into the film’s world. The lush Hawaiian environment is beautifully captured, with vibrant colors and sweeping shots that highlight the unique landscapes and cultural sites. Additionally, the production design deserves praise for its attention to detail in recreating an authentic island setting, further enhancing the overall viewing experience.
While “Finding ʻOhana” boasts impressive visuals, it’s essential to acknowledge that some of the special effects feel slightly artificial. However, this doesn’t detract from the film’s emotional impact or its ability to keep you invested in Pili and Ioane’s journey.
The editing throughout is seamless, especially during action-packed sequences. Dialogues are well-written and ring true to each character while developing their individual arcs effectively.
What truly sets “Finding ʻOhana” apart from other adventure films is how it touches upon universal themes such as family bonds, personal growth, and embracing one’s heritage. The movie effortlessly makes you laugh one moment and tug at your heartstrings the next — leaving a lasting impact long after the credits roll.
In conclusion, “Finding ʻOhana” stands as a delightful family-friendly adventure that successfully blends excitement with emotional depth. While some technical aspects may falter slightly on occasion, they are overshadowed by phenomenal performances by its young leads and an immersive storyline backed by stunning visuals and a mesmerizing score. Prepare yourself for an enchanting exploration of familial connections intertwined with Hawaiian culture – this heartfelt journey will leave you feeling inspired and eager to discover your own sense of ʻohana!
Release : 2021-01-29
Genre : Adventure, Action, Comedy, Family
Runtime : 123
Home Page : https://www.netflix.com/title/81023618
Company : Ian Bryce Productions
Cast : Kea Peahu as Pili, Alex Aiono as Ioane, Lindsay Watson as Hana, Owen Vaccaro as Casper, Kelly Hu as Leilani
FINDING ‘OHANA | Official Trailer | Netflix official trailer