Chasing Great Reviewed by Jon E Clist


The Premise
CHASING GREAT is an intimate film that weaves Richie McCaw’s life story into his final 365 days as an All Black, revealing the determination and mental toughness of an international sporting legend who still sees himself as an ‘ordinary guy’ from small town New Zealand.

The Review
So in short, this is a solid documentary that should resonate with rugby fans and non-fans alike. It is not like many of the successful documentaries of the modern age such as Michael Moore films that spend the majority of their time in a negative format, taking something apart. Instead this is a film that focuses in on McCaw’s success, drive and then his normality.

There are plenty of life lessons that our youth can pull out of this story and one of the key ones is to lean into the bad times. When you fail at something, lean into it and learn from it. Things won’t always go to plan and how we deal with the hard times and failures will shape how the rest of our lives go. You would even say that the main support character in this film is that of Psychologist Ceri Evans, he becomes very evident and influential after th 2007 rugby world cup loss at the quarter finals. Digging deep into the psychology of failure and loss and learning how to embrace it and then rise above it.

There is a great blend of real life footage, dramatized scenes and even some awesome home video movies that have been shared by the McCaw family. This helps add to the downunder realistic feel of the story.

The Verdict
Personally I think this is a film that should be compulsory in New Zealand schools. It is so much more than just a rugby doco. There are lessons for all on how to deal with failure and rise above it.

The Trailer

The Info
Releases: 1st September 2016
Rating: G
Duration: 105 minutes 
Genre:  Documentary
Starring: Richie McCaw
Director: Justin Pemberton, Michelle Walshe