Review: Daffodils' ambitious ideas aren't fully executed

A New Zealand story set to some of New Zealand's most beloved songs seems like just the right kind of movie to enter cinemas this weekend.

What began as an award-winning play based on a true story set in Hamilton now becomes a feature film.

The play is a musical and so indeed is the film, and at its heart this story is all about the music. 

And when that music is essentially the Kiwi soundtrack to your life, there's no question Daffodils has enormous power to strike just the right chord with New Zealand audiences.

It's the story of Rose and Eric told through their daughter Maisie beginning in the 60s when her parents first meet and playing out over the decades to come as we track the ups and down of their lives, their loves and their heartbreaks.

The filmmakers mine the considerable talents and appeal of their cast nicely, both big screen newbie Kimbra and seasoned performer Rose McIver bring a luminous other-worldliness to the screen and there is no mistaking the key chemistry between McIver and Mason.

Tonally is where the dramatic impact of this story takes a bit of a hit.

The choice to play out much of this awesome soundtrack almost as an inner stream of consciousness within a scene is a cool idea, but this ambitious delivery was a little hit and miss for me, mostly taking me out of the drama as it unfolded rather than augmenting it, not helped by some oftentimes awkward transitions.

I dearly wanted to love Daffodils, the story more than I did.

It's the soundtrack where the true power of this film lies.  It comes complete with some glorious and downright dreamy re-imaginings of songs from Dave Dobbyn, Chris Knox, Bic Runga among many others and is already on repeat in our household. 

3.5 Stars.