Review: Red, White and Brass is big-hearted and impossible to resist

A truly local film with a Tongan heart of gold, Red, White and Brass has just opened in Kiwi cinemas.

From first-time filmmakers with a fabulous cast and a fresh funny feel-good story for the whole family, Red, White and Brass marches to its own big-hearted beat and it's impossible to resist.

You can feel the storytelling pedigree of the producers behind Hunt for the Wilderpeople and Cousins here as we join the irrepressible Maka on his mission to score tickets to the Tonga vs France match at the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

He comes up with a hair-brained scheme to form a brass band and perform for the sell-out crowd as the pre-match entertainment.

This may sound like a perfectly reasonable goal except for one tiny detail - Maka and his mates straight up don't know how to play a single instrument.

This is the real deal - a true story. Knowing that brings so much more to this Tongan tale as does hearing the language and feeling the mafana, the warmth and infectious life love and spirit of Aotearoa's Pasifika heritage.

A few missed beats in the early stages of the story are forgiven by a third-act finale worthy of the same response the band got at the game and big-hearted big screen.

Four stars.