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  • Although it may not seem so, this short film is set in the present day (hence the reference to Johnny Depp). Two brothers (Romeo & Ed) wait in a car outside the pub their parents are in, when another car pulls up, two people get out and enter the pub, leaving 12 year old Polly in the car. What starts out as taunting and awkward looks, turns into an unlikely friendship between Romeo and Polly (Ed is too busy reading to be interested). What makes this film all the more unique are the thick East Coast (of New Zealand) accents, which most New Zealanders can relate to and make the film extremely realistic. Human connection was the main premise in Two Cars, One Night's creation, as explained by its director Taika Waititi; "I want to show how human contact creates something special in a not so special environment." This really is a one of a kind film which shows the most simple things in life can make the biggest difference.
  • psmith26035 August 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    this film really hit home for me. originally from Te Kaha, NZ, i would have to sit in the car while my mum went in for drinks. sad as it was, those days, a lot of kids had to. i guess it was a normal thing back then. when i heard about this film and watched it, it put me to tears remembering that exact car park i had spent many nights at with my mates. but it also made me somewhat accept it. im not proud of what happened and i don't resent my mother for leaving me in the car, i just understand that, that was what happens.

    i think this film sends many different messages to all. it could disgust people and it could expose people.
  • Three children wait for their parent(s) in two separate cars in a parking lot outside a New Zealand saloon in the 1960's. The thrilling economy of direction, wonderful (although occasionally infuriatingly thick native accents make it tough to catch all of the asides) screenplay and some of the most natural and believable child actors make this a touching little miracle of a short film that rates with the best ever made. If an added touch of racism, or conflict between the parents were added, it would make the film perhaps even more effective. But this is simply about kids awkwardly dealing with the opposite sex with a touching naivete that will be remembered long after viewing. Really special.....an instant classic.
  • This film, while short, is nothing short of a masterpiece. It has everything covered, great acting, great camera work, great storyline and writing. The subject matter is rarely approached by filmmakers and I applaud Waititi and Co. in their artful piece.
  • Inside the Te Kaha pub the night is in full flow with drinkers enjoying themselves. Outside in the car park Romeo and his little brother Ed sit in the car awaiting the return of their father. Another car pulls up alongside, with twelve year old Polly also left in the car while her father goes for a drink. Bored out of his mind, Romeo starts taunting Polly from his car but what starts out childish insults changes with even the short time they share together in the anonymous car park.

    Aside from the rather grating accents (to my ear at least) and the difficulty in quickly catching onto the dialect of the characters, I must confess that I found this a surprisingly fresh and charming short film. Another reviewer has stated that writer/director Cohen was aiming for something that looks at human contact and this has indeed been achieved. Filmed in a great black and white that feels dirty and lowdown (as opposed to the crisp and sexy b/w that many modern films will use) the film starts with a simple insult and builds from there. If it sounds simple then I suppose it is because it sort of is. However it works because the two characters are well written and well delivered to pace the development of this contact without making it feel corny or rushed.

    The script works well but the director does well to draw good performances from the three children. Despite initially a bit put off by their appearance and accents, I was drawn in as they were by one another and found them really natural and engaging. Ngamoki is annoying at first but comes around well, while Waikato has an easy chemistry with him that makes it convincing. Ngamoki-Richards maybe has a small character but he is funny as little brother Ed.

    Overall then a charming unassuming little film. It won't blow your mind with depth or messages but it is effective in what it does and it is as convincing as it is engaging.
  • DGirl090716 September 2008
    Warning: Spoilers
    I saw this short text at school for English. I absolutely loved it! The whole black and white theme that creates a slightly horror and intense feeling which was a good idea. Also the non-digetic sounds made the movie seem serious but as the dialogue went on, it made me relax... Like an anti-climax.

    Another good film technique was the high and low key lighting that was used to show what was dangerous and what was innocent and vulnerable. On one Mise en scene of the two cars captured my attention the most. It was a scene of darkness that surrounded the two cars. Yet, the two cars were brightly lit, making the audience see that the lit cars and the children inside had hope and happiness in a dark and dangerous place.

    The director used these techniques to help us understand his intentions and his idea: Good things can happen in the worst situations.

    Loves to Two Cars, One Night.

    "Hey Ugly! Ugly girl!" What a nice greeting :D
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Okay, i've seen loads of NZ short movies, and most of them are great - but this tops them all. It totally deserved the Oscar Nom. You'd probably have to be a NZer to get all the little jokes and negotiate the accent, but other than that it's pretty universal. Eg. "Ay, Ed, you're one of them Gay's ay Ed?" "Probably." That's probably classified as politically incorrect, but most good comedy is these days (paging South Park). That fact that the entire thing is in black and white cuts half of the visual side of it clean off, so the film relies ever so heavily on the child actors and the dialog. I won't give a word more of the film away, just go and watch this movie now, so you can see for yourself. (disclaimer: i give it only 9 out of 10 because it may not be to some people's taste, though i find that hard to believe!)
  • This short film features two children as the stars and very few others. Both are stuck waiting in the cars for hours with nothing to do at night. The boy (about 9) at first is a jerk and does some pretty obnoxious things to get the older girl's attention. Later, however, the wall between them falls--both figuratively and literally--as they both get one of the cars together and talk. Nothing earth-shattering, but sweet.

    What I focused on, though, was not their interaction but I kept wondering about their parents. After all, these are young kids and why are the parents in a pub while the kids are stuck outside? I guess being a parent and school teacher, I notice these things more than others.

    Much of the problem enjoying this film was unique to me. I am losing my hearing and struggled desperately to understand the dialog. It really could have used closed captioning and I hate when films neglect to do this when they are broadcast on TV or placed on DVDs. This problem, though, should still be a problem (though perhaps not as bad) to other Americans watching the film because it was made in New Zealand and had a lot of colloquialisms that any American would struggle with interpreting. This means that TWO CARS, ONE NIGHT would probably play better for audiences at home as opposed to abroad.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    "Two Cars, One Night" is a somewhat modern take on the story of Romeo & Juliet in the most unusual circumstances. It runs for 11 minutes and was directed and written by Taika Waititi over 10 years ago. And while none of the actors on here really managed a successful career, at least outside New Zealand, Waititi had his great international breakthrough recently with "What We Do in the Shadows", a somewhat different vampire movie.

    However, for his work here he was nominated for an Oscar (and won many other awards all around the globe) and it went in the tradition of the Academy recognizing foreign films in the short film categories. Even if it lost to Andrea Arnold's "Wasp", this is quite an achievement. Sadly, I cannot share the appreciation. I thought this was not a particularly great watch and the child actors did not do a great job either. Also they did not seem likable to me, which they obviously were intended to be. All in all, a forgettable black-and-white film in my opinion. Also, even if an English native speaker, you may need subtitles for this one. Not recommended.