Netflix’s Finding ‘Ohana is a heartwarming film that families can watch together. The film premiered on Netflix on January 29 and is already number two on their top ten things to watch. The movie takes viewers on a Hawaiian journey as two siblings from New York travel to their homeland Oahu where they discover more about their Hawaiian ancestors and culture.
In the film, the two siblings, Pili and Ioane, join Hawaiian locals Hana and Casper in a treasure hunt through a dangerous Hawaiian cave. Pili is played by Hawaiian actress Kea Peahu, who got to film Finding ‘Ohana where she grew up. Finding ‘Ohana is Peahu’s first movie role and first acting gig altogether. Before acting, Peahu was known for her dance skills. She has been a competitor on World of Dance, making it to the finals. She has also been a background dancer in music videos for Jennifer Lopez and Chris Brown. Kea Peahu is a great actress and dancer.
Pili’s brother, Ioane, is played by singer Alex Aiono. He is mostly known for his YouTube videos, which have over 981 million views. The other two main characters, Hana and Casper, are played by Lindsay Watson and Owen Vaccaro. Finding ‘Ohana is Watson’s first movie. The up and coming star grew up in Hawaii, like her costar Kea Peahu. As for Vaccaro, he has been in multiple films. He has been in films like Daddy’s Home and Mother’s Day.
The Theme of Family and Treasure in Finding ‘Ohana
The main themes in the film include family and finding treasure. The film begins with Pili in Brooklyn in a geocaching race. Her main goal is to find treasure. Therefore, when she arrives in Hawaii and discovers a story involving hidden pirate treasure, she makes it her mission to find it.
However, as the group embarks on an adventure to find the hidden treasure, it becomes clear that family is a prominent theme in the film. With Papa in the hospital, Pili and Ioane always fighting, and the deceased father, many complex family issues become apparent.
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Finding ‘Ohana does a great job of combining the treasure hunt with the theme of family and togetherness. Papa being sick, brings the family back to Hawaii and is the start of the treasure hunt. Being on the treasure hunt brings Pili and Ioane closer together as siblings. The end of the treasure hunt includes the deceased father and brings closure to the family. So, in the end, the film is about a family reconnecting with each other and with their Hawaiian heritage.
Touch of Hawaiian Culture
Finding ‘Ohana does a beautiful job at incorporating the Hawaiian culture into the film. The movie was filmed in Hawaii, which helps highlight the heritage and culture of the islands. They also include many words from the Hawaiian language into the film, like mahalo, keiki, and more. The characters also eat authentic Hawaiian food like spam musubi.
Finding ‘Ohana is an excellent representation of the Hawaiian culture. There are not many films that capture the culture of the islands and include Hawaiian actors. Kea Peahu and Lindsay Watson are both Hawaiian natives, so they were thrilled to go back to their homeland and film the movie when they received the script.
Netflix emphasized representing the Hawaiian culture, and they did a great job. From the fresh mango and spam musubi, pidgin language, scenery, and family first mentality. The Hawaiian culture and heritage are represented beautifully.
The Updated Goonies
Many people have called Finding ‘Ohana a modern-day Goonies. Both films include a treasure hunt and a romance that forms between the older characters. Both treasure hunts begin because the young kids and young adults want to help their family financially. In The Goonies, the group of children are about to lose their homes to an expanding country club. Therefore, they embark on a treasure hunt to get the money to get their families out of foreclosure. In Finding ‘Ohana, Papa has not paid his property taxes in five years and is about to lose his home. This threat results in the grandkids going on an adventure to find treasure in hopes of saving their grandfather’s house.
Finding ‘Ohana is now on Netflix! Your kids will love it… but so will anyone who was a kid in the ’80s — it’s jam-packed with homages to movies like E.T., WarGames, and Indiana Jones!
Plus, Goonies alum Ke Huy Quan co-stars and reprises one of his most iconic catchphrases pic.twitter.com/iZL7jYXpQ8
— Netflix (@netflix) January 29, 2021
Both films also include family heirlooms that help guide the characters to the hidden treasure. In The Goonies, a map leads to the treasure. In Finding ‘Ohana, a journal describes how to find the treasure. Another similarity both films have is actor Jonathan Ke Quan. He played Richard ‘Data’ Wang in The Goonies and appeared in Finding ‘Ohana as the grandfather’s long time friend.
Overall, both films share many similarities, and many have called Finding ‘Ohana the Hawaiian version of The Goonies. Therefore, fans of The Goonies will love this Netflix film. Finding ‘Ohana is an excellent movie that kids and adults from the ’80s will love.