Warwick Thornton’s latest creation, “The New Boy,” showcases his remarkable stylistic prowess, possibly surpassing his previous masterpieces like “Samson and Delilah” and “Sweet Country.” Drawing from his own upbringing as an Aboriginal child in a Christian boarding school, the film centers on a young Aboriginal boy with supernatural abilities in the 1940s. These extraordinary powers act as a conduit between Indigenous spirituality and Christian doctrine, yet the film remains deliberately cryptic and open to diverse interpretations.
Thornton thrives on ambiguity, weaving a visually captivating narrative filled with thought-provoking religious symbolism. While enigmatic films often invite varying readings, “The New Boy” occasionally flirts with excessive abstraction. Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of Sister Eileen, though intriguing, tends to be overshadowed by the film’s distinctive style.
The storyline unfolds at a languid pace, but Thornton’s breathtaking cinematography transforms it into a cinematic tone poem. The film’s core message may center on the incompatibility of Indigenous spirituality with Western religion. Nevertheless, “The New Boy” staunchly resists a singular, definitive interpretation, beckoning viewers to embark on a quest for meaning within its enigmatic narrative. Ultimately, it pays homage to the allure of open-ended storytelling. Visit afdah for more!