Film Review: Aloha


“The future isn’t just something that happens. It’s a brutal force… with a great sense of humour, that will steam roll you, if you’re not watching.”

Aloha is quite a star studded film. The story centres around the ‘fallen’ Brian Gilcrest (Bradley Cooper), a disillusioned ex-pilot and space aficionado. He is forced to return to Hawaii for a military contract, and is reminded of his failed relationship with his former lover, Tracy (Rachel McAdams). Tracy has since married Woody (John Krasinski), a man of very few words, and has two children – Grace and Mitchell. We are reminded that Brian has a shadowy past, and doesn’t seem to make the best decisions at times. He is guided by liaison Alison Ng (Emma Stone), an Air Force pilot, and who is 1/4 Hawaiian (which we are constantly told) throughout his travels around Hawaii. She is a firecracker, who is ferocious in her believes and yet also quirky. It is great having her along for the ride, as we discover the legends and stories of the Hawaiians and get a better understanding of parts of the storyline.

The film has the odd chuckle moments throughout. I like the unspoken narrative at the end of the film. It is a touching moment between father and child. The rest is a bit weird and nonsensical, but I think it was their attempt to have a bit of humour in the script.

Ideally, I think this film is more so a tale of redemption. It’s about Brian figuring out who he is, and what kind of man he wants to be. It’s about working through past issues, and seeing what you have now. This is reflected in not only Brian, but Tracy as well. She lives in the past, constantly reminding Brian of how he ruined everything. It is quite a sad element of the film, as the pain from the past seeps into the present, and affects everyone involved. The title of the film, Aloha, meaning goodbye and hello is a good reflection of the film. As the tag lines says, ‘sometimes you have to say goodbye before you can say hello’.

I quite enjoyed the film overall, but there were moments which didn’t flow very well for me. At times, the film seemed to have a lot of things going on in it, which made you forget some elements of the storyline. However, do check out the trailer below, as Aloha hits NZ theatres Thursday 4 June. Enjoy and Aloha.


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