Kate Sheppard TVNZ review
Give me back my history TVNZ! #KateSheppardWhatDidTheyDoToYou?
That was my tweet after watching the first 30minutes of TVNZs final remaining public broadcasting gems (now they've managed to suffocate TVNZ7), the Sunday night Platinum Fund traipse down NZ's rich and vibrant history that no one seems to know much about.
Last weeks amazing Siege gave a context and richness to an event we all witnessed and did that most ambitious of public broadcasting aims, it actually shed light.
I tuned into the Kate Sheppard story with anticipation based on how good Siege was and with a certain delight to see one of our country's greatest human rights activists given the dues she so richly deserved.
Which this didn't manage to achieve. Ouch.
I don't want to bag this because I believe in public broadcasting and really want the topic of Sheppard's activism to be a well known historical fact, but the stylistic choice to film it like a documentary was clunk, clunk, clunk.
Clunk, clunkity, clunk, clunk.
The actors spoke to an interviewer off camera. Like an interview, as in interviewing people in the 1800's but pretending not to notice the 20th Century cameramen and sound guys from a female journalist/narrator who is probably asking questions off her iPad.
It had its moments. I think we are all impressed with our ability to make wardrobes and sets that actually look like turn of the century NZ. Well done, and the range of English accents stretches as far as their vowels broad.
But every time they took it back to the doco style, it hurt. It hurt bad.
At times, it came across like a Wellington Theatrical Troupe. I wanted to like it and enjoy it, but I couldn't help wonder if anyone else had been shouting during its production that it was going clunk, clunk, clunk?
Kate deserved better than this, that sounds harsh, but Kate's a NZ treasure and the style suggested the budget couldn't deliver it's vision.
Triumphant moment rolling out the petition in the house, moment of pure joy. It's been a long 90minutes to get to that one moment.
Maybe I was hoping for The Piano meets Pulp Fiction?
It was okay, but you know. Clunkity, clunk, clunk.