The use of the word “Aloha” as the title of a recently released movie got mixed reviews on Kauai.
Chaz Cabatbat of Lihue said the essence of the word seems lost in the film.
“It (the movie trailer) doesn’t show anything about aloha,” the 23-year-old said. “If you’re going to use the movie title ‘Aloha’ then it should have something about Hawaiian culture or something with aloha spirit in it.”
Some Native Hawaiians say the movie doesn’t have much to do with Hawaiian culture, and were upset that such an important word would be used for commercial purposes.
Aloha is used when greeting someone, or leaving them. It’s an expression of affection, peace, compassion and mercy. For many in Hawaii, it is a word to treat with respect, not to promote a movie.
“I don’t think it necessarily is trying to target the Hawaiian culture,” said Ashley Linoz, 22, of Kaumakani. “It’s all based on perspective.”
A few said its use as a movie title didn’t bother them.
“I would watch it, and it seems like a good movie, and it has good actors in it,” said Golden Wong, 23, of Lihue. “I want to see it because of Emma Stone.”
“It looks interesting, like a love-story comedy,” said 23-year-old Evan Hurd. “You can’t see anything about aloha in the preview.”
When it comes to making films in Hawaii, it can be viewed as a job opportunity, said Preston Farm. The 23-year-old was an extra in “Pirates of the Caribbean” while it was filmed on Kauai. There was a casting call for extras for “Aloha” on Oahu, where much of the film was shot in late 2013.
Farm said acting as an extra provides an option for someone looking to make money on the side, or for someone aspiring to be a Hollywood movie star who could perhaps get a break.
“It promotes more movies to be made in Hawaii, gives directors motivation to film more movies in Hawaii, like in ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’” he said of “Aloha.”
The PG-13 film, which stars Bradley Cooper and Emma Stone and was directed by Cameron Crowe, opened across the nation Friday. It is scheduled to open June 12 at Kukui Grove Cinema.