THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY LINGO Add To My Top 10

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Release Date: August 29, 2003

Starring: Joe Falou, Tamasani Simei-Barton, Fokikovi Soakimi, Kayte Ferguson, Rawiri Parantene, and George Henare

Genre: Historical Drama

Audience: All ages REVIEWER: Dr. Ted
Baehr THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY
LINGO appears to be at first
glance the simple story of a
boy in the South Pacific, who
receives his rightful
inheritance and follows his
heart to find true love. The
movie opens with a baby
washing ashore on a boat in
the South Pacific. The chief
proclaims that the child is a
gift from one of the gods.
Some think it’s the god of
mischief. The chief thinks the
child is a gift of the
blessing god. Thus, the chief
chooses the child, Tama, over
his own son. After three years
of bad luck, the chief recants
and assumes that Tama is
cursed, denounces him, and
gives him to another islander.
Tama gets handed from one
family to another, all of whom
believe that their ill fortune
comes from his curse. Finally,
he gets given to a drunk, who,
as the drunk says, has an ugly
daughter, Mahana. Tama falls
into love with Mahana, builds
a boat and asks her to leave
the island with him. She
refuses to go with him because
she has to take care of her
father, in spite of the fact
that he’s a drunk, and so
Tama heads off, promising to
return. Tama almost dies at
sea, but washes up in front of
the home of the wealthiest
trader in the South Pacific,
named Johnny Lingo. Johnny
recognizes that Tama is a
runaway who lies about his
past, but determines to help
Tama overcome his personal
demons and problems.
Eventually, Johnny Lingo comes
to the point where he’s
going to die, and he makes
Tama his heir, giving him his
name. He tells Tama to follow
his heart back to his first
love, which Tama does, but she
does not recognize him, and so
the stage is set for the
climax. THE LEGEND OF TOMMY
LINGO has a lot of virtues.
Patience, kindness, hard work,
perseverance, are all
extolled. Furthermore, taking
care of the homeless, the
lost, and the rebellious are
exemplified. Being true to
your promises, loving someone
for what’s inside them, and
sacrificing your life for
others are also extolled.
There are also allegorical
elements that could be
interpreted within a Christian
worldview. The baby coming
almost miraculously from the
god of blessing, the child
growing up as a humble
servant, although he is, by
birth, a chief, and Tama’s
dying to self, could all be
woven into a Bible
teaching. The defect, however,
is that there is no real
appreciation and recognition,
or clarification, regarding
the true salvation available
in Jesus Christ, or the gift
that God has given us to set
us free from our sins and
there is an undue emphasis on
marriage and following your
heart. Part of this problem
lies in the fact that there is
no acknowledgment that men are
basic sinners. There seems to
be a Romantic presupposition
that men are good and just
need work, or help along the
way. The cinematography is
beautiful, the direction is
slow at times but winsome, and
the acting is serviceable with
only a few spotty moments of
very strained performances. It
would have been better if
Mahana had been a downtrodden
Cinderella who blossomed into
a lovely woman when Tama paid
eight cows for her as the
short story suggests. As it is
in the movie, she remains
plain. Overall, THE LEGEND OF
JOHNNY LINGO has good heart
and good intentions. It is
worth watching and memorable,
though it could have been
better. Please address your
comments to: Gerald R.
Molen Whitelight
Entertainment, Inc 5200
Lankershim Blvd., Suite
350 North Hollywood, CA 91601

Rating: G

Runtime:

Address Comments To:

Content:

(B, RoRo, C, V, AA, M) Moral worldview with strong romantic elements and view of marriage, as well as some redemptive allegorical elements; no foul language; minor violence, such as a woman, both as a girl and then grown up, throws coconuts and other things at guys; kissing; no nudity; one town drunk character, no smoking; and, lying, eventually overcome.

GENRE: Historical Drama

B

RoRo

C

V

AA

M

Summary:

THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY LINGO is the story of a boy in the South Pacific, who receives his rightful inheritance and follows his heart to find true love. Overall, THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY LINGO has good heart and good intentions.

Review:

THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY LINGO appears to be at first glance the simple story of a boy in the South Pacific, who receives his rightful inheritance and follows his heart to find true love.

The movie opens with a baby washing ashore on a boat in the South Pacific. The chief proclaims that the child is a gift from one of the gods. Some think it’s the god of mischief. The chief thinks the child is a gift of the blessing god. Thus, the chief chooses the child, Tama, over his own son.

After three years of bad luck, the chief recants and assumes that Tama is cursed, denounces him, and gives him to another islander. Tama gets handed from one family to another, all of whom believe that their ill fortune comes from his curse. Finally, he gets given to a drunk, who, as the drunk says, has an ugly daughter, Mahana.

Tama falls into love with Mahana, builds a boat and asks her to leave the island with him. She refuses to go with him because she has to take care of her father, in spite of the fact that he’s a drunk, and so Tama heads off, promising to return.

Tama almost dies at sea, but washes up in front of the home of the wealthiest trader in the South Pacific, named Johnny Lingo. Johnny recognizes that Tama is a runaway who lies about his past, but determines to help Tama overcome his personal demons and problems. Eventually, Johnny Lingo comes to the point where he’s going to die, and he makes Tama his heir, giving him his name. He tells Tama to follow his heart back to his first love, which Tama does, but she does not recognize him, and so the stage is set for the climax.

THE LEGEND OF TOMMY LINGO has a lot of virtues. Patience, kindness, hard work, perseverance, are all extolled. Furthermore, taking care of the homeless, the lost, and the rebellious are exemplified. Being true to your promises, loving someone for what’s inside them, and sacrificing your life for others are also extolled. There are also allegorical elements that could be interpreted within a Christian worldview. The baby coming almost miraculously from the god of blessing, the child growing up as a humble servant, although he is, by birth, a chief, and Tama’s dying to self, could all be woven into a Bible teaching.

The defect, however, is that there is no real appreciation and recognition, or clarification, regarding the true salvation available in Jesus Christ, or the gift that God has given us to set us free from our sins and there is an undue emphasis on marriage and following your heart. Part of this problem lies in the fact that there is no acknowledgment that men are basic sinners. There seems to be a Romantic presupposition that men are good and just need work, or help along the way.

The cinematography is beautiful, the direction is slow at times but winsome, and the acting is serviceable with only a few spotty moments of very strained performances. It would have been better if Mahana had been a downtrodden Cinderella who blossomed into a lovely woman when Tama paid eight cows for her as the short story suggests. As it is in the movie, she remains plain.

Overall, THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY LINGO has good heart and good intentions. It is worth watching and memorable, though it could have been better.

Please address your comments to:

Gerald R. Molen

Whitelight Entertainment, Inc

5200 Lankershim Blvd., Suite 350

North Hollywood, CA 91601

SUMMARY: THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY LINGO is the story of a boy in the South Pacific, who receives his rightful inheritance and follows his heart to find true love. Overall, THE LEGEND OF JOHNNY LINGO has good heart and good intentions.

In Brief: