A glue-sniffing boy and his girlfriend escape the government-controlled no-hope Aboriginal community they live in and go to the city, Alice Springs, looking for a better life.A glue-sniffing boy and his girlfriend escape the government-controlled no-hope Aboriginal community they live in and go to the city, Alice Springs, looking for a better life.A glue-sniffing boy and his girlfriend escape the government-controlled no-hope Aboriginal community they live in and go to the city, Alice Springs, looking for a better life.
The film begins with one half of the titular duo waking up on this, another hot; lazy; sluggish morning in dusty Outback Australia. We wake up into the film with him, a young boy named Samson, played by Rowan McNamara and here cutting rather-a dash as Lasith Malinga, whom lives alone with his brother in a small wooded house in a small street doubling up as an entire community. Samson enjoys sniffing motor oil, a batch of which he has tucked away in a plastic bottle enabling him to remove the lid once in a while so as to inhale a fix. In other areas of living, the man is positively Neanderthal; the drawing on walls calls to mind that of crude scribblings on caves one might have done millennias ago, his lack of speech going hand in hand with his ambling around from place to place – attempts at 'wooing' a female ending as we predict whilst the clubbing of a wild animal during a bout of Heaven-only-knows-what instills a crude, highly primitive sense about the guy. Upon waking up, he tries to steal a quick five minutes on his brother's guitar, a musical instrument requiring grace and precision, and he does so very badly before he is forced off it: dismissing those whom go on to strike up a good sound as a four-man-band.
Additionally awakening on this morning is Delilah, and additionally played by first-time actress Marissa Gibson; a character whom must care for her elderly grandmother, her last surviving relative and make sure to provide her with the correct medicine and such in what is a demonstration of precision and grace instilled into an activity which Delilah is able to execute. Delilah and her relative additionally spend their time creating neat mosaics on basic canvases so that they may be sold in a nearby town, activities again which require creativity and precision which it's established the man Delilah shares the title of the film with lacks. Samson and Delilah converge, once, outside of a store during this day; very little is said but much is implied through body language and suggestion, an early coming together a demonstration of the pair of them communicating through action and reaction which will go on to forge the essential characteristics of their bond.
In the evenings, music is again an item that arises; for Samson, the tuning into an FM radio as a DJ churns out popular music for anybody willing to send in a request is the order of proceedings; his lack of having a definitive taste and therefore having to feed off of what everybody else wish to hear prominent. Delilah, on the other hand, tunes into a very specified brand of music; a tape cassette of Latin American music which she enjoys by herself in the confines of an automobile on its tape player. These characters could not be any further apart in this sense, and yet opposites begin to attract; a final instance of binary opposition as the catalysts which push them together being the shooting of Delilah through hues of red as Thornton constructs an objectification of Samson around her gaze: his wiry shirtless dancing to blued out compositions having her come to feel what she previously did not.
The film mutates into the having of them leave the slum, a branching out into the wider world driven by two tragic instances that befalls either character; instances specifically linked to internal problems with whatever little family each of them has, a breaking up through whatever means or for whatever reason ultimately the item that pushes the disparate pair together. The leaving of the township for a homeless existence beneath a flyover bridge sees them maintain a solid partnership for the best part without ever actually saying anything; an unusual characteristic that will for some carrying with it problems more broadly linked to realism but in actuality, is probably some sort of sociological metaphor for the general marginalisation of Australia's indigenous people (that is to say, the literal taking away of their voices) by the state itself. Thornton strikes us as a competent director, his cine-literacy rendering this on screen silent romance one of which is executed with the sort of vigour imbued within, whilst most probably drawing inspiration from, something such as Chaplin's City Lights. Regardless of sources of inspiration, and more-over the mere labelling of it as "Kiarostami does Natural Born Killers by way of City Lights", the film is an exciting; enthralling debut from someone whose future work ought to be looked forward to with great anticipation.
- May 3, 2011