Despite the political prescience of this soap opera-like debut from Kiwi director Rosemary Riddell, exploring as it does the prickly community issues that arise from budget cuts in the social care sector, this facile and dramatically woolly film has little to recommend it. With his permanent grin, unkempt beard and cosy line in pseudo-religious, panpipes-scored babble, Arthur (Rawiri Paratene) is the roving, bare-footed idiot savant who firmly believes he’s the second son of God, and that he possesses mystical power that could prevent the inevitable closure of his ramshackle care home. His purportedly inspirational efforts take in friendship, suicide, bourgeois hypocrisy and a totally implausible love affair with a care worker who’s unhappy in her marriage (to an unironic version of Murray from ‘The Flight of the Conchords’, no less). A sizeable ensemble jostles for screen time, though Riddell doesn’t appear to be able to bestow any one character with more than a single trait. And any ‘issues’ that may surface during the proceedings are underlined, bolded, ringed in red pen and have big neon arrows pointing at them.
Cast and crew