Black Balloon Reflection

726 Words3 Pages
I’m guessing by now most of us would think that we are tolerant, open-minded and accepting of those with special needs, but what if a stranger walked into your house, while you were taking a shower. It’s an extreme act of weirdness and just plain eerie. Will you still be the tolerant, open-minded and accepting person you said you would be? Would you act reasonably towards this human being, though unknown to you, is autistic? Would you be able to cope? That is the unspoken challenge laid down by “The Black Balloon,” an unsentimental; harrowing portrait of a middle-class Australia family whose oldest son has severe autism compounded by ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). Would you find in yourself the seemingly infinite reserves of love and patience possessed by the Mollisons, the movie’s roaming, highly stressed army family who have just moved to the Suburbs of Sydney? “The Black Balloon,” is a coming of age film, directed by Elissa Down. Elissa actually grew up with two autistic brothers and It’s that personal touch that she brings to the film that gives it its vibe. The younger brother of Elissa served as the model for Charlie played by Luke Ford, a mute who communicates in sign language and heaving, wheezing grunts. When calm, Charlie is adorably playful and cuddlesome, but when agitated, which can be trigged by the slightest misunderstanding, which is often, he makes noises that assume an untamed intensity. During his most uncontrollable tantrums, he becomes a desperate wild animal, flailing, spitting and biting. Luke ford makes Charlie a character whose complexity transcends his disability. He gives a performance so convincing both in its physicality and emotional complexion that you do wonder whether he’s actuall... ... middle of paper ... ...ll understand that I’m surprised when “The Black Balloon” proved to be so original and captivating. The key is authenticity. From the interesting title sequence at the start, I was drawn into the challenges of life suffering a developmental disability While, I suppose, as an outsider myself could never fully appreciate just how demanding such a life could be, the film gives us a good idea. It was a learning experience for me; as I had never really acknowledged the disability and really given thought of the struggle the family goes through. So the question is this does the film look up to the teen film genre? The answer is clearly yes. “The Black Balloon” fearlessly reaches outside the box and opens up new challenges in the way we think about people. “The Black Balloon” revitalises the teen film genre. “The Black Balloon” is a film of which to be proud about.
Open Document