Movie Review: The Descendants

When the final credits rolled after watching the movie The Descendants, my mind was still in Hawaii and I knew why it won so many awards. This is one of the best movies I have watched in a long time.

Matt King (George Clooney) is a lawyer, husband and father with a very busy life and a lot on his mind. He tells the story that life in Hawaii is not just what tourists see on postcards. There are bills to pay, there is human tragedy, suffering and poverty. Kids do drugs, adults have accidents, just like anywhere in the world. Matt realizes that he has not been a very good father and husband, and he learns the lesson the very, very hard way.

Matt is also the controlling trustee of a vast tract of land in Kauai on behalf of the King clan, the descendants (hence the title) of one of  the last Hawaiian princesses and the white son of missionaries, who accumulated real estate during his life and passed it down through the generations.

The action is set off when his wife has a severe boating accident that leaves her in a coma. Matt is trying to come to grips with the world collapsing around him, when he realizes that he is needed, by his daughters, by his family, and by his clan.

I love Hawaii and I enjoy its unique landscapes, the laid-back feeling, the vastness of the oceans surrounding the islands, the eternal pajama weather, and its native music. The entire soundtrack of the movie is native Hawaiian, and I recognized many of the songs. I could almost smell the blossoms of the islands, feel the trade wind on my skin, as I watched the drama roll by frame by frame, emotion by emotion.

The Descendants is a well-crafted movie based on the novel by Kaui Hart Hemmings that captured me from the very first second and didn’t let me go.

When can I go back to Hawaii?

Rating: ****

2 thoughts on “Movie Review: The Descendants

  1. Paragraph Film Reviews

    Nice review. Totally agree. After the film I was emotionally exhausted! Nothing in particular, just the 2-hour long dose of amazing drama!

  2. Just watched it with my mom. It would have been even better if, instead of ending on the couch under mom’s blanket, they had been around a campfire under mom’s blanket… on their property… where mom and Alex used to camp…

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