Watch Rapa Nui
- 1 hr 47 min
Rapa Nui is a visually stunning film that presents the myth and culture of the Rapa Nui people of Easter Island. The movie begins with the arrival of the first Polynesians to the island in the 11th century and the subsequent building of the famous moai statues. The story then moves to the 16th century, when overfishing and deforestation have led to a societal collapse on the island. The film centers around two young men, Noro (played by Jason Scott Lee) and Make (Esai Morales), who are best friends and part of rival tribes. Noro is in love with Ramana (Sandrine Holt), the daughter of Make's tribe chief. The two friends battle for Ramana's attention, but ultimately their friendship is tested when they are chosen to compete in the annual race to bring the first egg of the Sooty Tern back to the Rapa Nui king. Throughout the movie, we see the daily lives and rituals of the Rapa Nui people, including the building of the moai statues, the birdman competition, and their belief in ancestral spirits. The striking landscape of Easter Island provides a stunning backdrop for the story, with sweeping views of the ocean, lush vegetation, and the towering moai. One of the film's strengths is its portrayal of the complex political and cultural struggles of the Rapa Nui people. The movie shows the conflict between the different tribes, each vying for control and resources, as well as the influence of outside forces, first with the arrival of the Polynesians and later with European explorers. The film is careful not to overly romanticize the Rapa Nui culture, instead showing its strengths and flaws. The performances by the lead actors are strong, particularly Jason Scott Lee as Noro. Lee brings intensity and vulnerability to the role, making Noro a sympathetic and relatable character. Esai Morales also delivers a strong performance as Make, bringing depth to the character beyond the typical antagonist. Sandrine Holt brings a quiet strength to Ramana, making her more than just a romantic interest for the two men. At its core, Rapa Nui is a story of friendship, love, and sacrifice. The film's climax is both thrilling and emotional, highlighting the deep bonds between the characters and their commitment to their people and culture. The movie also poses important questions about the impact of outside influences on a society, and whether it is possible to preserve one's culture while also adapting to change. Overall, Rapa Nui is a well-crafted film that effectively balances action, romance, and social commentary. Its stunning visuals and powerful performances make it a memorable and thought-provoking movie.