Moloka’i Bound: Review

Moloka’i Bound

Moloka’i Bound: Review. By Liam Trump.

The simplistic nature that many short films are able to achieve always amazes me. It’s a natural atmosphere that many feature-length films rarely try to accomplish for fear of being too dull or boring. Short films like Alika Maikau’s Moloka’i Bound is a perfect example of presenting this type of just that. 

Above all, Maikau aims to develop his characters in the short amount of runtime that Moloka’i Bound takes up. The characters Kainoa (Holden Mandrial-Santos) and Jonathan (Austin Tucker) mirror each other to a certain extent and this adds a great deal of context to what ultimately occurs at the end of the film.



It’s seen right from the beginning that Kainoa wants a bond with Jonathan but can’t because of the circumstances. He tries to connect at the beginning with Jonathan. Even though he has a weak relationship with Jonathan he makes the effort. He has experience that’s vital to him and he wants to make sure that Jonathan is not going down the same path he did. 

The interaction between Kainoa and Jonathan starts quite abruptly. This is to show how Kainoa can’t just show up to talk to Jonathan whenever he wants and has to catch him when no one else is around. He tells him not to smoke and fixes his slipper for him. Jonathan starts opens up since it’s implied that he doesn’t have a father figure in his life. By the end they’ve understood each other’s general personality, but are far from having 

The dialogue given between Jonathan and Kainoa has The actors both give solid performances that aren’t too over-the-top or too meek. The dynamic that’s written for them makes watching their brief conversation engaging. 

Maikau delves into themes relating to love and companionship. These themes dictate everything having to do with Kainoa’s actions and both of them wanting a strong relationship with each other. While it is Kainoa’s fault that their relationship couldn’t have prospered, other factors went in making it so that his mistakes would not be forgotten.

Overall, Alika Maikau’s Moloka’i Bound is a solid short film. It doesn’t rely on style alone; it more so focuses on the fractured relationship that Jonathan and Kainoa have found themselves in. Even so, the Hawaiian setting is captured very well and none of the technical aspects stuck out as being out of place. This is well made short film that I’ll probably be watching again in the future. 


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