Warwick Thornton’s latest film, “The New Boy,” is a testament to his stylistic brilliance, surpassing even his acclaimed works like “Samson and Delilah” and “Sweet Country.” Drawing from his own experiences as an Aboriginal child in a Christian boarding school, the movie revolves around a young Aboriginal boy with supernatural powers in the 1940s. These powers serve as a bridge between Indigenous spirituality and Christian doctrine, but the film remains deliberately cryptic and open to interpretation.
Thornton thrives on ambiguity, crafting a visually stunning narrative filled with evocative religious symbolism. While enigmatic films often leave room for diverse interpretations, “The New Boy” occasionally risks becoming overly abstract. Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of Sister Eileen, though intriguing, gets overshadowed by the film’s style.
The story meanders, but Thornton’s breathtaking cinematography transforms it into a cinematic tone poem. The film’s core message may lie in the irreconcilability of Indigenous spirituality with Western religion. However, “The New Boy” steadfastly resists a single, definitive interpretation, inviting viewers on a quest for meaning within its enigmatic narrative. Ultimately, it celebrates the beauty of open-ended storytelling. Visit afdah for more!