‘Uproar’ 2024 Ending Explained & Movie Summary: Can Josh Pursue Acting?

1981 was one of the most important years in New Zealand’s history. South African racial segregation was at its worst, and the South African rugby team’s tour to New Zealand divided the country in half. Uproar takes place in the middle of this unrest, and a teenage boy stands up for his people and finds his roots. A powerful movie to its core, Uproar talks about equality, racial discrimination, and the significance of protests.


Spoilers Ahead 

What Happens In The Movie?

Josh is a Maori teenage boy who never really fits in. His injured older brother and single mother don’t have much to live with. St. Gilberts, the school where Josh’s dead father and brother played rugby, supports the family. The 1981 Springbok tour is announced, and the whole of New Zealand turns against each other. On one side, there are the Maori people, who are against segregation laws and also fighting for their rights, and then there are the rugby supporters and the government. Josh is torn apart between his responsibilities and his own dreams. when he has to stay silent to protect his family. 


How Does Josh Get Into Acting?

Josh’s English teacher, brother Madigan, offers Josh a chance to participate in a low-key drama club he’s started during lunch. Josh is reluctant at first, saying he’s busy, but the stage pulls him back. When Josh performs a monologue almost effortlessly, his brother Madigan is delirious and wants him to apply to NIDA, an Australian drama school. Josh’s mother, Shirley, is against the idea, and she asks him to stop pursuing a career where there’s not much prospect of making money. Shirley ensures that Josh is asked to be a part of the rugby team at school when his injured maverick brother is asked to co-coach the team. 

What Do The Protestors Want?

Josh’s Samoan friend Grace gets involved in a silent protest against the South African team’s rugby tour. The protestors want the New Zealand government to cancel the tour and return the land of the Maoris, which they were robbed of. The Maoris gather at the Old Hall, where they hold peaceful meetings to discuss the movement. A fellow protestor, Samantha, interrupts a school rugby game to raise her voice against the injustice. She’s booed off the field by the spectators, and the divide between the natives and the White people is clear as daylight. Grace asks Josh to help with the movement and record their rally of protest. A hesitant Josh would rather steer clear of it.


What Happens In The Maori Protests?

Josh changes his mind and hesitantly asks brother Madigan for his camera to shoot the protests. Madigan and Josh talk about the protests, and Josh asks Madigan his viewpoint on them. Madigan confesses that he’s a silent protestor, working behind the scenes, only for him to correct his words and say he’s a coward. Madigan will lose his job if he’s seen taking part in the protest, as Principal Slane is against it. Josh marches into the rally with his camera, and he notices the struggles of the Maoris up close. The police block the way to the field with batons and shields. Maoris roar and perform the Haka chant in its full glory. Josh looks at his people doing their warcry to take back what’s rightfully theirs. The police inflicts a heavy baton charge on the protestors, and Samantha’s wise grandmother, Tui, gets badly injured in the process. Josh takes a hit and falls to the ground, struggling to find his glasses in the middle of a road full of violent cops and running protesters. Grace saves Josh, and they manage to escape. Josh gets into trouble when his face at the protest is printed on the front page of a newspaper. 

Does Josh Manage To Play On The Rugby Team?

In the second-last game of the season, the St. Gilberts find themselves in a losing game. When a main-team player gets injured, Jamie subs Josh in. Jamie recently got contact lenses for Josh, and he tells Josh to go into the field and enjoy himself. Jamie is a former rugby superstar and a supportive big brother to Josh. Josh performs exceptionally well to everybody’s surprise, and St. Gilberts make it to the finals. Madigan comes to pick Josh up for the auditions, but Josh gives it up. 


What Happens To The Old Hall?

Grace bangs on Josh’s door, crying. The Old Hall is set on fire. After the game, coach Bullivant invited the lads for beer, and some of them were known to be anti-Maoris. This incident shakes Josh up. Josh runs to his brother Madigan and requests that he shoot his audition tape for the drama school. A proud Maori now, Josh performs an exceptional monologue followed by the Haka chants. The school refuses to take the tape into consideration because of the deadline, but Madigan does a smart thing. Madigan goes to Shirley to show her Josh’s tape, and Shirley finally understands where her son’s true potential lies. Shirley takes Josh to the beach, where she and her late husband would come to take a breath. Josh and Shirley bridge the gap between them. Meanwhile, Principal Slane orders everyone to support Bullivant’s alibi. Bullivant vouched for the students and claimed none of them left his house during the incident. This incident moves Josh’s conscience, and he starts to see the root of the racism.

What Happens In The Final Game Of The Season?

The final game of the St. Gilberts falls on the same day as the final game between the Springboks and All Blacks. Josh decides to step up and refuses to play. He sits right in the middle of the field as an angry crowd demands to get him off the field. Shirley has understood by now that her son is right, and she joins Josh too. Jamie follows his family, as do Madigan and a few of the other players on the team. Principal Slane’s cry for help is a bit too racist, and Jamie shows him his place. When Slane tells Jamie that his father would be ashamed, Jamie replies that he never treated them as anything more than a rugby player. The match gets canceled despite Slane’s vain efforts, and Josh gets a win for all the natives. Jamie tells the police that he might get a few of the team members to go against Bullivant’s statement. 


Uproar shows the way for every awkward teenager who might find themselves lonely and worthless. Josh’s coming out of his shell leads others to follow him, and that’s how resistance begins. Grammy Tua returns from the hospital safe and sound, and Josh’s family helps the Maori people restore the Old Hall. Madigan’s earnest efforts to boost Josh’s confidence are heartwarming to see; it’s a token of love for a student from his teacher. History remembers the Maoris as the ones who fought for their rights, and the makers really poured their hearts out for this one. It’s always important to speak up for the cause even when it doesn’t concern you, and injustice can’t prevail if the people rise against it.

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Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket Mukherjee
Aniket is a literature student pursuing his master's degree while trying to comprehend Joyce and Pound. When his head is not shoved in books, he finds solace in cinema and his heart beats for poetry, football, and Adam Sandler in times.

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