Storm Boy (2019) - full transcript

A beautiful and contemporary retelling of Colin Thiele's classic Australian tale. 'Storm Boy' has grown up to be Michael Kingley, a successful retired businessman and grandfather. When ...

Lookout post.

Clear for miles.

Now, you'll never get lost.


Dad, no!

Didn't sleep on the flight?

Not much.

-Well, I'm glad you could make it.
-Of course.

I'd never miss today.

Despite my busy schedule.

How was the Danube?

Not blue.

It's all part of the walkabout.

I'll have Adam drop you back
after the vote. Shouldn't take long.


Maddie's looking forward
to seeing you.

-How is she?
-She's missing her mum.

No mining in the Pilbara!
Keep the Pilbara safe!

What's all this?

No mining in the Pilbara!

Keep the Pilbara safe!
Hands off the Pilbara!

No mining in the Pilbara!
Hands off the Pilbara!

Mr Kingley! Mr Downer!

Mr Kingley, are you here to vote?
Can I get a statement, sir?

Will you be voting yes
to leasing the farmland?

Mr Kingley!

-You go in, I'll talk to the hands.
-Thought we had this all under control.

We do. Just ignore them.

Okay, you look after Michael.
I will take care of this.

Gentlemen, gentlemen.
Ladies, ladies, please.

All right. The decision to lease
the farmlands for sustainable mining

has the support
of all local communities.

After the votes, King Pastoral will
release a full statement outlining

our intentions in the region.

-Mr Kingley.
-Thank you very much. Now, go home.

Sir, do you even care?
Do you have a conscience?

I'll come for you
once everyone's assembled.

-Maddie, hi.
-Grandpa, you've gotta stop him.

-Dear, no. What do you mean?
-My father.

But are you okay?

-I tried to call you.
-Know what he's doing?

If I was 18--
If I was on the board, I'd stop him.

I'll send you a link.


I'll just be a minute.

No phones during school hours.
Madeline, now!

Just read it.

-I gotta go.
-Thank you.

Pick it up at the end of school.

Mr Kingley.

-We're ready for you.

-Just come through.
-This budget is very impressive.

We'll just be a couple of minutes.
Wanna take a seat over there?


Just make sure,
we're supposed to call a specialist.

Cal. Julie.

-Michael. Good to see you.
-Michael, how are things?

I'd say there's a storm a-brewing.

You'll never guess what I found.

Lolly Gobble Bliss Bombs.

-Where'd you get them?

-Oh, Michael.
-You don't have to share.

I bought a stash.

Oh, Jesus!


Michael, be careful!

What the heck was that?

You okay? No glass get you?

I'm fine.

We're gonna have to reconvene
tomorrow for the vote.

Room's a mess. I have to fly to Sydney.

I thought we were planning
to have dinner with Maddie.

I can't. I have to romance
the investors.

So we can make a toast to Sonia.

I'm sorry, but you know how it is.
We'll all go out tomorrow.

She sent me this.

Oh, Jesus. Look, it's not an issue.

The land's been deregistered. You saw.
The elders are at the table with us.

-She was pretty angry.
-You know what it's like at that age.

Thinking everything your father does
is wrong or corrupt.

It's nothing. I promise you.

-I'll see you tomorrow.

Tomorrow, Malcolm.

It's important.


-Is he gonna be all right?
-He'll be fine.

Did you see the birds?

You're supposed to knock.

That's the deal.
I don't lock, and everyone knocks.

Did you see them on the beach?
The pelicans?

-Did you read the article?

-Did you read it?
-It's your dad's company now.

It was yours once.

Yours and Mum's.

In no time at all, you'll be sitting
on the board with your quarter share,

-and you can debate your dad.
-It'll be too late by then.

They'll have dug up half
of Western Australia.

I'm just a link to old clients.
I don't make policy anymore.

This will ruin the waterways and destroy
their indigenous homelands.

-It's not right. You must see that.
-What do you want me to do?

-Stop him!
-I can't do that.

You're just like everyone else.

-Don't say that, Mads.

-Not today.
-Mum would've been disgusted with you.

And no.

I didn't see anything on the beach.



I'm sorry about shouting.

I know none of this is really your fault,

but I just get so angry.

I once believed in things
like you do, Maddie.

Things that were special to me.

You okay, Grandpa?

How are you, Mads?

I'm fine.

Well, I'm seeing birds.

The beach I grew up on was filled
with them.

I had problems with my father,

just like you.

I was angry.

I didn't talk.

I was so--

I don't know why I'm telling you all this.

You go to bed.
I'll see you in the morning.

I can stay up.

-I don't wanna leave you out here alone.
-I'm fine.

It's just...


Her birthday.


You're looking more and more like her
every time I see you.

Tell me about growing up on the beach.

Mum never told me anything.


It was called Ninety Mile Beach.

I lived there for most of my childhood.

My home was a little shack,

perched on a long stretch
of sand hills and scrub.

Just down south in the Coorong.

Shallow water on one side
and a massive ocean on the other.

We left the city.

My dad wanted to be as far away
from anyone as possible.

We'd go for days and weeks
without seeing another person.

I spent my days on the sea.

And my nights doing home school.

"Now, tell us. What's your name?

Percival Wemys Madison, the...

-The Vicarage."

It's a priest's house.

"The Vicarage, Harcourt Street.

Antone-- Anthony, Hants."

And in the mornings,
I watched the birds.

The world might have seemed harsh
to my dad and me...

but not to them.

They were home.

I didn't really know any other life.
I was cut off from the world.

Then one day, the world came to me.

He's come in again.

-Needed supplies. Kero.
-How's his boy, say?

He said he's fine.

It's not right.
A boy living alone out there--

Leave him be.

Here you are.

-Settle up next time?
-No worries.

That's all town's talking about.

Ten thousand acres.

See, the hunters want it for shooting.

The other folks wanna turn it
into what they call a sanctuary.

-It's a safe place for the birds.
-Well, what do you think will happen?

I think the vote'll be close,

but, knowing people,
they'll probably side with the hunters.

Who cares about a bunch of birds?

It's a midden.

Proper white man word is "midden."

They used to crack shellfish here.

Good tucker.

Where do you come from?

Just about.

You scared of me?


Fingerbone Bill's my name.

You know what I call you?

Because you walk in the big blow,
I've seen you.

I've seen you too.


We know each other.
No reason to be scared.

My people made camp here,
long time ago.

No white fellas.

For thousands of years,
just black fellas.

Well, if I lived here back then,
I'd have been a black fella.

Reckon it so.

Hey, you're right. Telling it proper.

There'll be a storm soon.

When pelican is killed,
there'll always be storm.


-They're alive.

The other birds will look
after them, right?

It's not their way, Mantawu Mgauriri.

We can't let them die.

They're too young.
There's nothing we can do.

They won't die.

Good to go.



Oh, God.

I must have fallen asleep,
I completely crashed.

Thanks for the coffee, Angela.

Thought you might need
a hair of the dog, Grandpa.

Go on, then. I'll take a wallop.

-One wallop coming right up.
-Come on!

Finish your coffee.
You gotta get a move on.

I've got my first two periods free.
It's fine.


So tell me more about the birds.

I thought you weren't interested.
You fell asleep.

No, I heard it all.

Tell me.


Oh, I had no idea what to do next.
How to keep those birds alive.

Grab some grass.

There were no vets
on Ninety Mile Beach.

Or libraries to look stuff up.

-Here you go.

-Come on in.
-Your father here?

No, it's okay.

Come in.

This is his house. We have not met.
I'll stay out here.

It's gonna be okay. Gonna be okay now.

Hear me?

What you gonna feed them?

-Dad's got some bait.
-They can't eat proper fish.

They're too small.

-What's that?
-Help them not get sick.

How are you gonna feed them?

Reckon you're gonna have to do it
like their mum does.

I can't do it like their mum. They stick
their head in her mouth and she--

Chucks up into them.

I can't do that. It's--

I've got an idea.

I don't think this is a good idea!

In fact, I'm sure it's a bad idea!

Just do it!

Special one.

It's good.

Please. Please.

-It worked.
-Give them as much as they'll take.

Get them strong, Mantawu Mgauriri.

-Where are you going?
-Gonna wash good in the rain.

I smell something fierce.

What's that smell?
You've been cutting up fish?

-I've got something to show you, Dad.
-What's all over you?

I used the outboard
to make some food. They like it.

Where did you find them?

In the sand hills.

Hunters killed their mum.
Fingerbone said they would've died

-if I hadn't brought them home.

Fingerbone. He helped me.

He said he didn't wanna come in.

He said it wasn't right
if you weren't home.

He's my friend, Dad.

He said to be like their mum.
She pukes down their throat.

-I wasn't gonna do that.

So I made this.

Dad, can I keep them?

-Well, the little one looks pretty weak.
-Please? I'll look after them good.

Let's just see how we go.

Good day.

Good day.

I'm Tom.

Hideaway Tom.

-That's what they call you.
-I know.

-This your idea, then? The birds?

I just helped.

-It was Mantawu Mgauriri's thought.

Mantawu Mgauriri, that's his name.

I haven't seen him this excited
in a long time.

He'll proper take good care
of the birds.

Let's hope they make it
through the night.

Can I come back in the morning?
See how they're doing?

I don't see why not.

You're the littlest.

Come on.

Gotta keep eating.



Could I use your scarf?

Promise to give it back?


Aren't you getting into bed?

No, I'm just gonna sleep
down here with them.

So they know someone's here.

It's a good idea.


Good night, Dad.

Please don't die.

Come on in.

I brought him into bed. It's warmer.

They didn't die.

They're going to, aren't they?

-Those birds were tough.
-They're gonna die.

I know it.

Excuse me, Michael.
Adam's here to drive you.

Do you have to go?

For the vote?

-So Dad's back?

-I imagine so.
-I hate him.

-I do!

Maddie. Mads?

Why are you still here?

It's still early.
I could do with the exercise.

Do you fancy a morning's constitutional
on the rocks?

I had to feed those birds
eight times a day.

Even Dad tried to help out.

There. I call it "Tom's twister."

Put your oil, your fish, your kelp,
and whatnot...

Put her in there.

"Sim Sala Bim." Instant muck.

Until you can start
feeding them whole fish,

it's gotta be better
than using my outboard.

We are never going to sleep again.


You using my glass?

You'd think I was granddad pelican,
the way they're turning to me for food.

Well, you sort of are now.

Look at this bloke,
sitting up like he owns the place.

That's Mr Proud.

-Oh, you've named them?

This is Mr Ponder
because he's very wise and serious.

Mr Proud, Mr Ponder.

What about this little bloke?
What's he then, Mr Peep?

It's Mr Percival.

Like the boy in the book I read.

The smallest and the weakest...

but he doesn't die.

Well, you keep feeding him...

he'll grow up to be big and strong.

Go on. Hey, just wait.

Be patient, please.

Would you just--?
Knock it off! Settle down. Oi, stop.

Go on.

Happy now?

Ten pounds a day they're eating.

Ten pounds.

More than we eat in a week.

Over here, Mr Proud. Ready?

Here you go. Grab it. Thattaboy.

Come on. Come on, Mr Ponder.
Come here. Here, guys.

Get it. Come on.

That's it, Mr Percival.

Come on, I know you want it. Kick it.

You want hit it right now? Come get it.

Give it to Percival.

What are you doing?

Just talking to the land.

Paying my respects.

No, I'm not going out today.
You can catch your own brekkie.

Hey. I don't care how much racket
you make. I'm not going out!

Hey! You hear me? Piss off!

Get out!

Go. Shoo! Get away, go. Shoo.

-Please, just go.
-Get out of here, you mongrels.

You guys are gonna get us
into big trouble.

Is a little bit of privacy
too much to ask for?

In the middle of nowhere!

-Can't you talk to them, Mr P?
-Get out!

Dad's going nuts.

Get out, you mongrels. Get out! No!

No way!

You wanna buy fish?
You catch your own, don't you?

Yeah, well, got a couple extra mouths
to feed, don't I?

It's amazing.

That's one word for it.

You can use your special glass now.
We're done with it.

Thanks, I think I'll stick with this.

They're gonna have to go back soon.

-Go back where?
-Well, where they belong.

We can't afford to keep feeding them,
and even if we could,

-a life in captivity...
-This isn't captivity.

You know what I mean.

Wild things need to be free.

These birds could live
to be 30, 40 years old.

You can't look after them all that time.

They need to be with their own kind,
raise families.

Son, you saved their lives.
It was a wonderful thing that you did.

It's nearly time to set them free.

-When they can fly, I suppose.

You still have to teach them.

So they can survive when they go.

Right now these birds think
everything comes from a bucket.

See? It's easy.

See? You want it?

Yummy fishy. Now-- Now you try.

Okay? Now you-- Now you gotta drive
the little fishies into the shore, okay?

Flap your wings.
You gotta do it again, okay?

Ready? Drive them into the shore.


Yummy fishy.

Try that again.

He's a good boy.

You're a lucky man.

Why are you out here, Bill?

The same as you.

Didn't much like
what happened to me in the world.

That's it, Mr Ponder.

See, you get it.

Yes, finally!

Well done, Mr Ponder.

Well done, Mr Percival. That's it.

It worked, Dad. I got it.

Good work, everyone.

Pelican is Ngatji.

My friend.

They can teach you many things.

Some say, long ago, they were men.

Riding in canoes,
watching over everything.

That's why there be a storm
if Nori, or pelican, is killed.

See, Nangai, my father, told me,

if you look after Ngatji,
then they will look after you.

See? Just like that.
Then you start flying.

Flap your wings.

Wings out.

Ready? Wings out.

Ready? Come. Flap your wings.

Come on.

Flap your wings.

Good job, Mr Proud!

Ready? Like this.

That's it.

Flap your wings. Come on.

That's it. Well done, Mr Ponder.

How'd you go today?

Mr Proud and Mr Ponder picked it up.

Mr Percival will get it tomorrow.

You must be a good teacher.

I know you can do it, Mr Percival.

Seen your brothers do it.


Wings out. Flap. Flap. Flap.

Good, go. Come on.

Yes! Good job, Mr Percival.

Can I hold Mr Percival?

He won't go anywhere.


All right. Let get this over with.

Off you go now. Go on.

It's time to look after yourselves.

Off you go now. Go on.

Off you go.

Off you go.



Lead the pack, Mr Percival.

Look after yourself.

Go on.

Go on.

Just go.

What are you waiting for? Just go!

I knew it.
I knew it was gonna end like this.

Any story that's good has to go wrong
before it gets better.

So does it?

Wait here a tick.

-Are you on your way

-to the board meeting?

Just squeezing in
my weekly Zumba class.

Oh, Cal, for heaven's sake.

They say it's good for me.

Listen, have you still got a copy
of the original charter?

-The one we drew up for King Pastoral.
-Of course, I do.

-Could you bring it into the meeting?
-What are you up to?

-Just bring it.

It takes three board members to initiate
any alteration to a meeting agenda.

Can you talk to Julie?

She always votes with Mal.

I think he reminds her
of her dead husband.

Talk to her, would you?

It's important.

-Is everything okay?
-I hope so.

Where were we?

The birds.

You just let them go.

I was as sad as I'd ever been.

I felt real loneliness

for the first time.

I looked for Mr Percival today.

You shouldn't be doing that.

I didn't see him.

None of them.

But I saw the hunters.

Not far from the nests.

Don't worry, all right?

Vote's next month. Bit of luck, we'll get
the point turned into a sanctuary.

You said you didn't trust people
to be smart.

I changed my mind.

Drove cattle out here for jobs
and never looked back.

What about the girl?

Don't know what happened to her.

But there was nothing I can do.

She was promised to someone else.

Gotta be respecting that.

So I had to leave.

Leave my family, leave everyone.

I miss my father.

My Nangai.

He was a tribal elder.

He taught me everything
about the land.

I was married.


We ran a petrol station,
on the outskirts of town.

Just a temporary thing
while I got other plans sorted.

We were having a picnic.

Jenny and Belle, my little girl.

They-- They went to get ice cream.

Weren't doing anything special.

Jenny wasn't speeding.

Sometimes I think it's best not
to have anyone to care about.

That way you won't get hurt.

Hell, I'd love to just go walkabout
like you fellas do.

That can go pretty lonely.

Sure enough, Tom.

Dad! Dad! Dad!

-What is it?
-It's Mr Percival.

He came back. He can stay, can't he?

Yeah, I suppose we can cope
with feeding one.

From that day on, Mr Percival refused
to ever leave my side.

Not for an hour.

Not for a minute.


Okay, you stay here and I'll hide.
No peeking.

Make sure he doesn't cheat.

And count to 10 for him.

One, two,

three, four,

five, six,

seven, eight, nine, 10.

All right, Mr Percival, go find him.

Go on.

He's in there.

You told him, Dad. You told him.

This is Mum.

And that's Belle.

I miss them.

I don't talk to Dad about it
because I know he misses them too.

There's nothing he can do about it.

They would've liked you, Mr Percival.

They would've like you a lot.

-Vote no, people. Next Sunday.
-Vote no.

-Vote no to the sanctuary.
-Vote no to the sanctuary, miss.

Here you are, sir, for you.

Here you go, Mr Percival.

You trying to make a point?
Bringing that bird to town?

What? No.

Watch yourself, kid.
Bad things can happen, you know?

Just like that.

Don't say I didn't warn you. Come on.

-Come on, boy, come on.
-Come on, Mr P, let's find Dad.

No to the sanctuary, people.

It's okay, Mr P.

It's okay, Mr P. Stay here, Mr Percival.

Stay, Mr Percival. Mr Percival!

Stop, no!

Stop! No! Mr Percival!

Get out of it.

-Mr Percival! Stop, no!
-Bloody bird!

Look what you've done.

Come on. Let's go.


There he is!




Fingerbone, help me!

Get the rope.

Mr Percival!

Get down here now!

Here. Here. See this?

Take it to Dad. To Dad.

To Dad. Come on. Dad needs you.

Come on. Take it!

Take it to Dad.

Go, Mr Percival! Take it to Dad!


Got it!

Here, Mr P!

Here, Fingerbone.

There you go.

-Not much left. Hey! The rope!


I can't believe it.

It was a miracle.

My dad was saved by a pelican.

So it all worked out?

It's not over yet, Mads.

What does that mean?

I want to show you something.

It's a bit of a hike.

Are you going to the board meeting?

No, I'm not.

One thing you'll discover, Mads,

sometimes you forget
the best things you ever learned.

-Like how to live like a pelican.
-What happened after the storm?

Everything changed.
Word spread like you wouldn't believe.

Newspapers, radios.
They all picked up on the story.

Mr Percival was famous.

-So was I.
-This way, Mr P.

Everyone in town was happy
for Mr Percival and me.

Maybe not everyone.

A collection's been raised
to send your boy to St. Andrew's.

Best boarding school in Australia.

-Michael wouldn't wanna leave.
-It'd be good for him.

A boy like that...

he needs a proper education.

-What the hell is going on?

I'm showing Maddie something.

The board are meeting in less
than an hour. I need you here now.

Don't shout at me, Malcolm.
I'm a grown man.

I'll do whatever I want.

I've been on this deal for a year.
I don't need you to screw it up.

Just call me when everyone's ready,

put me on speaker
and I'll vote over the phone.

-What are you up to, Michael?
-I'm trying to save your family.


Oh, my God.

So are you coming?
Or do you have to go back to school?

Are you kidding?

-I'm not going!
-Think of it as an opportunity.

I don't want an opportunity!
I want to stay here.

I can't keep teaching you,
not the way you should be.

-No, I'm staying here with you.
-It's a big world. There's a lot to do.

I don't care! I'm not going!

Is this--?

This is where we lived.

What about the birds?

The nesting area's way down there.

Is that Mr Percival?


Maybe one of his grandkids.

I didn't understand it then,

but I suppose my father was...

only doing
what he thought was best for me.

He's smart, Mr Percival.

He needs an education.

A life, you know? To--

To show him there's more than this.

Sometimes you gotta do
what you know is right.

Even if they're gonna hate you for it.

-I have everyone here.

-Michael, are you ready to vote?
-I am.

Is Cal Evans there?

-Jesus, Michael. Where are you?
-I'm in the past, Cal.

Look at this.

I know I'm old.

My mind's half shut,
but I still got a few teeth in my head.

Did you manage to find
your copy of the original charter?

-I did.
-What's going on?

-Turn to page 27A.
-We're all ready for the vote.

Does it say under revision 18B

that the board has the right
to delay any vote

so that an independent review
could be taken in the case

-of exceptional circumstances?
-What's going on?

Yes. Yes, it does.

If three board members agree.

So do we have three?

We do.

What are you talking about?
There's no reason to delay the vote.

There are
no exceptional circumstances.

My granddaughter, your daughter,

who owns 25 percent
of your company, Malcolm,

I'm afraid she's about
to have a nervous collapse.

What? No, she's not.

Oh, yes, I am.

It's a serious collapse. Very, very bad.

-I'd call that exceptional circumstances.
-So would I.

-We need to postpone the vote.
-Get her off the phone, Michael.

This will make no difference.
I'll still win the vote after the review.

You may. Or you may not.

But if we can delay it a bit longer,
Maddie will be 18 by then

and sitting on the board,
and she can argue against you.

-Give people time to reconsider.
-They don't wanna reconsider.

-No one wants to reconsider.
-We gotta go, Mal.

We'll see you at that dinner
we were planning for Sonia.

No, no, you're breaking up. Ciao!


Grandpa, that was amazing.

We've delayed him for a while,

but it's gonna be up to you
to change his mind.

-He'll be lucky if I talk to him for a year.
-No, no.

You have to talk to him.
He's your father.

Don't I know it.

He's not a bad man.
He's just a businessman.

And your mum, she loved him.

I never really made peace
with my father after we fought.

I never came back here.

I made that decision in anger.

It was the biggest mistake of my life.

I don't want you to go down that path.

-Well, I like being angry.
-Mads, there's no future in that.

Think about it, will you?

You have to. It's so important.

All right.

I'll talk to him.

Grandpa? What about Mr Percival?

Don't you wanna say goodbye
to Mr Percival?

Just give it a month, see how you go.

Come on, then.

Mr Percival?

Mr Percival, stop. No!

Mr Percival! Come back!



That's Mr Percival!


Stop! That's Mr Percival!

Whoa, buddy.

Leave him alone! Leave him alone!

He attacked me.

You saw him.

I had no choice.

I warned you!

They shot him, Dad.

-Give him to me. Let me carry him.

I wasn't there to protect him.

This is your fault!

You're the best friend I ever had.

Please don't die.



I know why you did it.

I'm ready to go now.

Is that how it ended?

Mr Percival's life wasn't in vain.

After I'd gone to school, the council
heard what the hunters had done.

They doubled the size of the sanctuary.

Twenty thousand acres,
the largest in the southern hemisphere.

They gave it a lease for 100 years...

with an option to extend.

Is that Mr Percival?


A bird like him never dies.

Come on.

I have something for you.

Thank you.

I think I'll just sit here for a bit.

What does that mean?

It means "Storm Boy."