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 The World of Film in Australia - on the Internet Updated Thursday, August 28, 2014 - Edition No 912 
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WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKENHEARTED

SYNOPSIS:
Jake Heke (Temuera Morrison) has found a new woman in Rita (Edna Stirling) but nothing else is new since his wife Beth (Rena Owen) left him, unwilling to deal with Jake’s drinking and violence. When one of his sons, Nig (Julian Arahanga) is killed in a gang fight, Jake becomes morose and even more eruptive, turning even Rita against himself. His other son, Sonny (Clint Eruera), filled with hate for his wasted father, wants revenge for Nig’s death, and the seething cauldron of gang warfare, family feuding and Jake’s self-loathing brings things to the boil – and Jake begins to reassess his empty, shattered life.

"Seething with pathos in a richly tangible cultural setting, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted is a compelling and satisfying journey of redemption. Gripping from start to finish, the brooding atmosphere is fraught with undercurrents of violence in an ugly world where gangs and revenge take priority. Yet we glimpse another world, where music is an integral part of the culture and is as natural as breathing. Alan Duff's economical script is beautifully structured and effectively executed with Ian Mune's confident direction. The light, ironic dry touches of humour are thrown into the mix as naturally as day follows night. The relationships and their resolutions are handled sensitively and with depth. The complex culture, exotically colourful (tattoos galore), is showcased in striking settings with an enigmatic score by David Hirschfelder that builds into a tour de force. Temuera Morrison towers in his riveting performance as Jake the Muss. He is explosive, charismatic, tragic and tortured all at once. Morrison inhabits the character totally and fills the screen. All the performances are excellent – from Peter Smith as the riveting Apeman to impressive Clint Eruera as Sonny. Passionate and powerful, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted is a disturbing journey, but one we can be very satisfied to take. Recommended."
Louise Keller

"If you haven’t seen Once Were Warriors, this film will still resonate with its power and sadness, its inverted spiritual trajectory of a single man’s redemption, its visceral force. As if sticking our nose against the plate glass and peering into the human condition on a very specific level, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted is a big hearted, difficult, confronting and emotionally draining film with throat and heart grabbing performances. Temuera Morrison performs a spiritual Phoenix in this sequel that gives sequels a better name. His Jake is a tattered, battered and fettered soul, rapidly imploding under the weight of his own anger; tracking it back to its source is what Once Were Warriors does, locating it ina cultural wasteland of Maori pride in the past and a confused present. We are witness to Jake’s terrifying journey through a social landscape that appears to be so tangible that we are left sweating with dread. And so sad. God, so sad. There are no pat answers, no easy solutions, no redeeming moments. Except one. The last one. We pity, we gaze in horror and we laugh, all in a row, as Ian Mune delivers a film that carries the same punch to the solar plexus as did Lee Tamahori’s first take on Jake – all thanks to writers Alan Duff and Riwia Brown. What Becomes of the Broken Hearted is not for the faint hearted – but it does massage the heart with a complex set of emotions, making it a satisfying if harrowing experience."
Andrew L. Urban



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CRITICAL COUNT
Favourable: 2
Unfavourable: 0
Mixed: 0

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See Andrew L. Urban's interview with
TEMUERA MORRISON

WHAT BECOMES OF THE BROKENHEARTED
(New Zealand)

CAST: Temuera Morrison, Clint Eruera, Nancy Brunning, Peter Smith, Lawrence Makoare, Rawiri Paratena, Julian Arahanga, Rena Owen

DIRECTOR: Ian Mune

PRODUCER: Bill Gavin

SCRIPT: Alan Duff

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Allen Guilford

EDITOR: David Hirschfelder

MUSIC: Michael Horton

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Brett Schwieters

RUNNING TIME: 118 minutes

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: July 22, 1999

VIDEO RELEASE: November 17, 1999

VIDEO DISTRIBUTOR: Universal

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