When Ada, a mute pianist from Scotland who communicates with sign language and note cards, and her daughter Flora, who speaks on her behalf, are forced to travel to New Zealand because of a marriage that Ada was sold into, things take an unlikely turn after a Maori native steps into the picture. The piano is the only way Ada can express herself, and when her new “husband,”Alisdair Stewart, refuses to bring it into their home, the native, George Baines, agrees to house the piano in exchange for piano lessons. These lessons escalate to several life changing events.
This movie is not at all what I thought it would be and actually took me by surprise with its plot twists and dramatic moments that kept me on the edge of my seat. There were a variety of filters that set the mood for certain scenes, and weather patterns foreshadowed certain events. It’s also ironic to see people wearing Victorian style clothes, trudging through dirt and mud in the wilderness. Speaking of clothing, the variety of clothing choices really shows the difference between cultures. It surprised me to see several occasions in which the Maori people showed more kindness, understanding, and empathy than the civilized people. As you can see, this movie brings surprises both big and small around every turn.