THE ROCKET: THE DVD REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY

This film, THE ROCKET, was easily my number two film of 2013, it would have been my number one if Life of Pi did not release on January 1, 2013. I just LOVE it. It is a superb superb heart warming battler movie and is out now on DVD, thank god, I need to see it again and make my parental units view it! With much gratitude to the amazing folks at CURIOUS FILM and their PR dudest with the mostest, BILL, I have been offered 5X copies to giveaway to you all. 

REVIEW BY JASON KING

Kim Mordaunt’s THE ROCKET is the foreign tidal wave infectious film of the year that could become one of the best films of the year and garner Oscar nominations. I missed it at the Sydney Film Festival and finally got to see it at recent press screening and it was one of the better film decisions to see of late, it has everything this film, it is this year’s Whale Rider meets Beasts of the Southern Wild and is totally infectious beyond belief.

 

Kim Mordaunt, The Rocket, The Rocket Movie, The Rocket Review, Curious Films, Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Thep Phongam, Bunsri Yindi, Sumrit Warin, Alice Kohavong, Jason King
THE ROCKET: A SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

The Rocket is all about Ahlo, a young boy who had a twin that died during birth. In this village’s ancient beliefs twins are incredible bad luck and should be killed at birth as one will be blessed and one will be cursed, as you will not know which is which just better to kill them both at childbirth. Charming really, it is only through the determination and strong will of Ahlo’s most loving mother that his life is spared from the wicked, superstitious bong smoking grandmother. Due to industrialisation by evil Australians (wait, what? :)) the village has to move, there is a dam coming and you either move or you drown when they flood the valley. So the entire family must pack up and go to an unknown hideous place set up by the corporation and government as a resettling village, it is incomplete and has no toilet facilities and no one gives a crap about the villagers. On the journey to this resettlement horrendous bad luck strikes the family and it appears to go downhill from there. Taitok, the grandma finally tells everyone Ahlo is a twin, and when they are looking for someone to blame, Ahlo is blamed for everything. But nothing will ruin Ahlo’s incredible spirit and determination and he elevates himself above everyone around him to enter a Rocket competition to save the family in a village they end up in.

 

Kim Mordaunt, The Rocket, The Rocket Movie, The Rocket Review, Curious Films, Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Thep Phongam, Bunsri Yindi, Sumrit Warin, Alice Kohavong, Jason King
THE ROCKET: A SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Ahlo is literally like a sunrise in this film, his happiness, determination and individuality are soul enriching. This is possibly the best film performance by a kid this age, Sitthiphon Disamoe is just perfect in this film. It is worth it just for him. BUT – there is so so so so much more. This film will have you crying, make you angry, lift your heart and have you literally laughing out loud. Every single character is brilliant and is important to the film. Ahlo’s mum, Mali (Alice Keohavong) is part of Ahlo’s heart and her grace and attitude is what makes Ahlo the amazing child he is. Ahlo’s dad, Toma (Sumrit Warin) is an idiot, but for a reason, he is grieving, has the world on his shoulders and a mother who is an out of control freak, he was literally the only person that occasionally annoyed me and made me angry, why he never stood up for his son like Mali did we will never know, I gather it was because of his inbuilt superstitions.

 

Kim Mordaunt, The Rocket, The Rocket Movie, The Rocket Review, Curious Films, Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Thep Phongam, Bunsri Yindi, Sumrit Warin, Alice Kohavong, Jason King
THE ROCKET: A SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

Then there is Ahlo’s new best friend, Kia (Loungnam Kaosainam) who is just the most beautiful little girl and best friend you would ever want, the two of them are the cutest little couple ever. Her acting is astoundingly great and the little hair moves and crush she had on, or played perfectly, towards Disamoe was just gigglingly good. But the two remaining people steal the show for their humour and originality, they will never be as awesome as Ahlo but Purple (Thep Phongam) is superb as Kia’s Uncle and named after his James Brown purple suit he never takes off. While he is a funny character, it is through him we see the horrendous pain left to Purple after fighting as a child for the Americans in Laos.  He cracks you up with his dancing and craziness but his alcoholism is for a very sad reason, he is also somewhat the mystical character. But after Purple, hands down best character in this film is the insane, crazy, superstitious grandma Taitok (Bunsri Yindi), while also the meanest character to Ahlo, she is the most honest, transparent and hysterical character, watching this 70+ old lady punch cones through bamboo bongs and treat her family like shit and then come out with the funniest one liners breaks up the actual sadness of this film. I loved Taitok.

 

Kim Mordaunt, The Rocket, The Rocket Movie, The Rocket Review, Curious Films, Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Thep Phongam, Bunsri Yindi, Sumrit Warin, Alice Kohavong, Jason King
THE ROCKET: A SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

I have never seen any of Kim Mordaunt’s work before. He is relatively unknown accept for a remarkable docco set in the same area made in 2007 called Bomb Harvest, it follows a bomb disposal unit through the same area removing the unexploded bombs. It was one of the aspects of this film I was not aware of, the amount of unremoved ordnance, the landmines and huge bombs that have not gone off that still litter the country. I was astounded and even more astounded at the acceptance and ease with which this culture deals with these things. They just move on and don’t bat an eyelid, the scene where the family along with Purple and Kia escape inside the undetonated bomb vehicle is really funny but at the same time, highlights the dangers these people were living in and this scene plus Ahlo’s “sleeping tiger” scene just show that losing limbs and death are just a part of life. Mordaunt’s film shows the impeccable beauty of this film through remarkable cinematography that captures it all, from the sadness to the beauty to the horrors left behind by idiots of the past.

 

Kim Mordaunt, The Rocket, The Rocket Movie, The Rocket Review, Curious Films, Sitthiphon Disamoe, Loungnam Kaosainam, Thep Phongam, Bunsri Yindi, Sumrit Warin, Alice Kohavong, Jason King
THE ROCKET: A SALTY POPCORN REVIEW

 

This film is deservedly winning awards across the world, it deserves everything it gets and I hope when it gets its cinematic release into art house cinemas on August 29 that it goes gangbusters and then gets a wider release, like Beasts of the Southern Wild and Whale Rider this film deserves our tears and cheers. I am taking my parents to see it even if I have to drive a few hours to Sydney to get to it – it’s a total must see.

AWARDS SO FAR:

WINNER: Best Narrative Feature  – TriBeca Film Festival
WINNER: Audience Award  – TriBeca Film Festival
WINNER: Best Actor  – TriBeca Film Festival
WINNER: Best Feature  (Generation Kplus) – Berlin Film Festival
WINNER: Best First Feature  – Berlin Film Festival
WINNER: Amnesty International Film Prize  – Berlin Film Festival
WINNER: Audience Award – Sydney Film Festival

Rating:  M
Running time: 100 minutes
Distributor: Curious Films
National release date: August 29

Cannot rave about this film enough – it already makes my top 5 for the year and has a great shot at number 1. Perfection in film. You will literally feel like a better person after watching this.

 

5 Pops

 

With special thanks to CURIOUS FILM to win one of the 5x copies of the DVD of  THE ROCKET (YOU LUCKY THINGS YOU!!) you need to either like and share this post on Facebook or retweet/ favourite it on Twitter, you then need to leave a comment below stating the answer to the following question:

Part 1) Where is the film set? Need to know you are reading the reviews haha and 2) What is your favourite South East Asian film and why?  (Google may be your friend here)

If you do not have Facebook and Twitter then get with the times old timer haha – You can still enter, leave your entry below and email me at jking@saltypopcorn.com.au telling me you don’t have social media 

Prizes will no longer be awarded to first in first served. It will now be a game of skill and selected purely on the thoughts of the judges, said judges being the Salty Kernels.

The prizes will be sent in the next 2 weeks. Good luck! Oh, and minor housekeeping – huge apologies for overseas readers, this competition is only available to Australian residents.