Warwick Thornton’s latest cinematic offering, “The New Boy,” showcases his unparalleled stylistic prowess, potentially surpassing his previous works like “Samson and Delilah” and “Sweet Country.” Inspired by his own upbringing as an Aboriginal child in a Christian boarding school, the film follows a young Aboriginal boy with supernatural abilities in the 1940s. These extraordinary powers serve as a bridge between Indigenous spirituality and Christian doctrine, yet the film remains intentionally cryptic and open to multiple interpretations.
Thornton revels in ambiguity, weaving a visually stunning narrative replete with thought-provoking religious symbolism. While enigmatic films often invite diverse readings, “The New Boy” occasionally strays into the realm of excessive abstraction. Cate Blanchett’s performance as Sister Eileen, though intriguing, is somewhat eclipsed by the film’s distinctive style.
The plot unfolds leisurely, but Thornton’s exquisite cinematography elevates it to the status of a cinematic tone poem. The film’s underlying message may revolve around the irreconcilability of Indigenous spirituality with Western religion. Nonetheless, “The New Boy” staunchly resists a single, definitive interpretation, encouraging viewers to embark on a quest for meaning within its enigmatic narrative. Ultimately, it celebrates the allure of open-ended storytelling. Visit afdah for more!