Warwick Thornton’s latest film, “The New Boy,” emerges as a testament to his stylistic brilliance, potentially outshining his acclaimed works like “Samson and Delilah” and “Sweet Country.” Drawing from his own upbringing as an Aboriginal child in a Christian boarding school, the film explores the life of a young Aboriginal boy with supernatural abilities in the 1940s. These exceptional powers serve 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 imbued with thought-provoking religious symbolism. While enigmatic films often invite varying readings, “The New Boy” occasionally veers into the realm of excessive abstraction. Cate Blanchett’s portrayal of Sister Eileen, though intriguing, tends to be eclipsed by the film’s distinctive style.
The narrative unfolds at a languid pace, but Thornton’s breathtaking cinematography elevates it to the realm of a cinematic tone poem. The film’s core message may revolve around the incongruity of Indigenous spirituality with Western religion. Nevertheless, “The New Boy” steadfastly resists a singular, definitive interpretation, beckoning viewers to embark on a quest for meaning within its enigmatic narrative. Ultimately, it celebrates the allure of open-ended storytelling. Visit my flixer for more!