Samson and Delilah Reviews
Classic Australian film
Samson and Delilah could so easily have been another piece of vacuous avant-garde cinema were it not for the talent of its two leads. Rowan McNamara and Marissa Gibson say more with their faces than other actors do with a thousand words and their naturalness, coupled with the realism of the film, often make this feel like a documentary. Theirs is an unforgiving world of loneliness and social isolation. Yet buried within the poverty, exploitation, boredom, violence and drug abuse are flashes of humour and moments of real tenderness between the two that keep the film from over-indulging in the squalor and decay of Aboriginal culture. If all that sounds a bit schmaltzy rest assured that director Warwick Thornton doesn't go the other way either, and often the happiness experienced by Samson, Delilah and viewer is bitter-sweet. Don't miss this beautifully shot gem of a film.
I cared little for the cinematography despite how good it was and I cared little for the romance. I had to watch this slow one-hour fourty-one minutes of another two kids' gutwrenching life, all the while thinking to myself, 'what is the point of this?'
Normally I don't mind low-budget films, but nowadays I've been noticing a very distinctive trend with them: they are ALL dramas.
I can't stand dramas or dark themes in films like this. I'm very particular about my films. I use the cinema as a portal to escape from the grim aspects of everday life because, be honest, it's all around us. Civil disobedience, everday tragedies, deaths in the family, wars, everyday working life, people struggling to find work, drug addicts, homelessness... I don't need to have a spotlight shining on all of this crap.
Life is hard. Sure. The biggest problem was that this film pretty much shoved it down my throat.
People will enjoy it. People will find it compelling. People will be immersed in the story. But really, is a regular, movie-going audience really going to do something about the problem being shown in the flm? The society outside of Samson and Delilah couldn't give a damn about the situation in the movie, and I doubt that ordinary people watching this movie would do anything either when faced with a similar scene. It's just terrible awkwardness.
They're essentially street urchins, a part of a backwater society that refuses to develop, refuses to change, and are unable to or want to do anything to fix the problems in their society. Though the contrast between the two worlds is interesting, it's just another terrible truth I don't want to be a part of and want nothing to do with it.
I'll give it five stars for all the technical gimmicks, but as a well-rounded movie with a story I can get into, it's not enjoyable. They call it a comedy drama... it was just another drama for me.