OPINION: MOVIE REVIEW: The Weight of Elephants. Starring Demos Murphy, Matthew Sunderland and Angelina Cottrell. Directed by Daniel Borgman
Opening with the abduction of three children, The Weight of Elephants tells the story of Adrian, an inquisitive yet lonely boy who lives with his grandmother and sick uncle.
Adrian leads an isolated and withdrawn existence, resorting to developing relationships with bunny rabbits, school outcasts and three children who have recently moved in next door.
This is the first feature film from Kiwi film-maker Daniel Borgman and he should be proud. With a tense and somewhat dark tone, it is a beautiful piece of film. The cinematography is a visual dream, created by striking use of light and neutral tones that resemble photographs more than film.
The film's score is minimal, having a great effect on the audience's reaction to each scene. At times there is no sound which creates breathless moments.
The Weight of Elephants was shot in Southland, mainly in Otautau.
The natural tones of the landscape perfectly mirrors Adrian's isolated and overgrown emotions. The story itself is captivating to watch unfold, led wonderfully by Demos Murphy who plays Adrian. He is a true talent and plays his part with conviction. Matthew Sunderland, who played David Gray in Out of the Blue, is well cast to play Rory, Adrian's manic depressive uncle.
Sadly, this movie will not appeal to everyone, especially those that do not favour ambiguity and need a nice tidy ending to enjoy a film. To others, though, myself included, it will be visual feast to consume, with its ambiguity welcomed and its melancholy embraced. To read an interview with director Daniel Borgman by reporter Lauren Hayes, visit: is.gd/sYbzBk.
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