REVIEW: The Rocket Wins Your Heart Even When It Doesn’t Soar
by Christopher Runyon
The “crowd pleaser” is a strange kind of film. They are simultaneously able to garner both the most praise and the most backlash all at once. Take for instance The Shawshank Redemption, which still holds the #1 film slot on iMDB’s Top 250 list. A great film, I’d personally argue, but is it only great because it makes you feel triumphant by the end credits? This argument always pops up in a lot of the “inspirational” stories, whether it be Slumdog Millionaire, Forrest Gump, Dead Poets Society, the list goes on. “This film is too sappy,” one will say. “Its feel-good emotions distract viewers from the dismal script,” another would go. And while I definitely think these arguments are certainly valid, it must also be noted that cinema is, for the most part, manipulation, and there can still be something of worth in a story that succeeds at that kind of manipulation–without offensive falsities, of course.
I bring this up because I feel that this argument will be most certainly applied to Australian director Kim Mordaunt’s The Rocket, a Laos-set film with a plot synopsis that practically screams “inspiring!”, involving a young boy who overcomes his social and physical limitations and surpasses a great obstacle–in this case, a rocket-competition with a cash prize that could save his family.
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Whoops! Totally forgot to link to this new review I wrote. Click the links to read!