Geoffrey Rush is Storm Boy in a new screen version of STORM BOY.
Well, actually, he’s Storm Boy all grown up, who recounts to his grand-daughter, Maddy, how he got the name, Storm Boy, over half a century ago.
It’s a neat choice in Justin Monjo’s script to bring Colin Thiele’s novella, which was set sixty years ago, into a contemporary perspective.
A pity that some other choices prompt the question, “Why remake a classic Australian film?”
The politics are pretty clear, as we tackle the balance between the environment and the economy, and grapple with the still contentious issues of land rights. It is right, fitting and proper that the arts, crafts and sciences of film making continue the conversation of conservation and cultural sensibilities.
The trump card in director Shawn Seet’s suite is the peli-cam.
Thesps of the stature of Geoffrey Rush play second fiddle to the avian antics of the assembled pelicans in this production, Mr. Percival, of course, principal player. There were two aspects of the pelicans in STORM BOY that are of
paramount importance: to create the majority of the pelican performances in camera with real birds, and to establish a tangible connection between these real pelicans and the actor, Finn Little, playing Storm Boy.
Producers have had the prescience of procuring Paul Mander to train the pelicans and process the bonding between actor and avian. The results are first class, with Mr Percival, Mr. Ponder and Mr. Proud top flight performances.
The other feather in the cap of this production of STORM BOY is the location. Point a camera in any direction of the Coorong and you scope a breathtaking beauty.
Trevor Jamieson plays Fingerbone Bill, the character portrayed in the original film by David Gulpilil, and Gulpilil makes a cameo as Fingerbone’s father.
It would be nice to see STORM BOY storm the box office this Summer, like a blockbuster super hero movie. No capes, cowls or masks for this role model , rather raw courage, persistence and an open heart.