Movies: Once Were Warriors

Here’s Another Movie, I really like this one and I recommend watching it if you ever have the chance.

Once Were Warriors By Lee Tamahori


A family descended from Maori warriors is bedeviled by a violent father and the societal problems of being treated as outcasts

Mark Lawrence said ‘Memories are dangerous things. You turn them over and over, until you know every touch and corner, but still you’ll find an edge to cut you’. This quote in my opinion would apply to Jake. When we first meet him we think him a loving father who tries to provide for his wife and children in a unstable economy, but we soon learn who he really is someone who is so intoxicated by his (and his ancestors) past that he has become a virus. Jake reveals this when Beth is talking about her home and her culture. We learn Jake’s ancestors were slaves while Beth’s were important, we also learn that when Beth wanted to first married Jake they denied them the rights due to Jake’s family slave past. This seems to eat away at Jake, so we see him trying to ‘a Big Man’, he beats his wife, bosses around his family and spends his nights drinking away at a bar because this is where people respect him, treat him like a king. It is not until Grace death that we see Jake as a scared farce of a man. He stands frozen in horror over his daughter being hung on a tree and his friend has to cut her body down. He does not even try to console his wife.

Boogie seems to be going down the same path as his father. He becomes a delinquent to get recognition from his family, he does this because Jake is the role model in his life. We know that Nick and Boogie (Even Grace) does not respect Jake, yet this is the only ‘Strong’ figure they have known, they do not see Beth’s strength of enduring Jake’s abuse because they do not understand how she can stay. Boogie being taken away from his family is probably the best thing that could of happened to him. We see him taking his anger from his family promising to visit, then making an excuse why they could not go, and internalizing it. He puts his anger and frustration at his parents and instead of letting it consume him like his father would have done. He chooses to become a warrior.

Although at the end of the film we see Jake taking justice out on Grace’s tormentor this is not enough to absolve him of his actions. We know this because him beating the rapist is not because of what he did to his 13 year old daughter, but because this man betrayed HIM. I am proud that Beth did not take him back at the end of the movie and with the police sirens coming we know Jake is most likely going to go where he deserve. Boogie at this point has accepted his past and is trying to make a better future for him and his family. he finally learns the meaning of being a man.



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