Film “The Black Balloon”

The film “The Black Balloon”, is a 2008 Australian AFI award-winning dramatic feature film that stars Toni Collette, Rhys Wakefield, Luke Ford, Erik Thomson, Gemma Ward; as well as a cast of newcomers. It is directed by first-time feature film director, Elissa Down, Despite being set in the early 1990’s, the movie, “The Black Balloon” still contains relevant messages for audiences in the modern age. These messages involve the discrimination the Mollison family is subjected to, the characters that Down has incorporated into her story and the coming of age by her one of her main characters Thomas.

Discrimination is a major theme in the movie, “The Black Balloon”. This theme was shown throughout the movie when the residents of the town and the school displayed discrimination toward Charlie and the family. The most poignant example of discrimination is when Charlie has a breakdown/tantrum at the supermarket when his father, Simon, has to put groceries back. Charlie feels that his order has been interrupted and he doesn’t cope with the change.

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Not one of the community members or staff members who were seen to witness the tantrum offered to help or even offered an encouraging smile. Through Down’s use of close-up camera shots on the observers, the viewer is able to see the judgment and horror that the community is displaying towards the autistic Charlie. Discrimination is also show financially. Although it isn’t shown in the film, financing Charlie’s medication plus his routine doctor and specialist check-ups wouldn’t be easy and again, the community is not forthcoming with offering assistance.

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These judgments from community members still occur in modern day society and parents of autistic children are still subjected to judgmental looks when their child doesn’t cope in an “appropriate” way in a social setting. The director Elissa Down has designed her story with simple characters, these individuals are coursed with issues and are reluctant to overcome them. the characters remarked in this story show a great amount of emotions throughout their journey in the film, Thomas Mollison hitting his highest points at life when he meets Jackie and meeting his all-time lows releasing his anger out on his autistic brother Charlie is a massive point in the film.

The characters in the film have a sense of belonging to their family this is resembled by the Mollisons sticking strong as a group and overcoming challenges throughout the film. Romance is also another big remark for the characters, the romance contributed by both Jackie and Thomas really hit hard in the film. Individuals in the film also need to overcome challenges and that’s more than certainly shown in the film. Overcoming issues like the dinner table scene and the big fight. The characters in this film really resemble to modern day audience due to actions the characters conduct to, the sense of family and belonging are still a massive emotion throughout a modern families relationship. The sense of romance hits a huge message throughout the lives of young teenagers everywhere, modern social settings have a diverse amount of young teenagers who conduct themselves with the messages that The Black Balloon shows.

The coming of age shown by one of our main two characters Thomas Mollison has been touched on perfectly by director Elissa Down, she investigates that harsh times throughout Thomas’s early life and evaluates him to where he concludes at the end of the film. Coming of age is the transition from adolescence to adulthood. During this time Thomas faces many challenges and changes. In the course throughout the film Thomas is sequenced with hardship and faced with strong issues, two main issues are outlined including the embarrassment of Charlies actions with conducting a relationship with Jackie and the sorrow moments where Thomas is known to be pushed aside of Charlie. Thomas plays the part of ‘A coming of age story’ perfectly, growing up throughout the film and overcoming those issues in his life at that time. Thomas concluded at the end of the film with emotions such as pleasure and happiness, this is shown with close up shots of Thomas’s face during the scene where he dances in Charlie’s performance.

This resembles a message of growing up and that message conducts greatly in modern society, the facts of teenagers going through harsh times in many senses including home life, school life and life overall. Thomas played a part of every young adults life, showing the emotions of his tears in the bathroom scene when his mother addresses him and the joyful moments at the end of the movie. Highs and lows are registered throughout anyone’s life and Thomas has shown that through emotion and his actions in The Black Balloon. In conclusion the movie The Black Balloon outlines a variety of strong coursed messages, these messages relate to modern audiences in a course of factors. Discrimination of families and characters was a high remarked message for contemporary viewers to relate to, the taste of judgement reached out to the viewers and were widely in sighted of the social setting that they are in.

The characters were evolved throughout the film as they showed high courses of emotion and heavy scenes of action. Observers showed relevance to the characters of the film as they saw the rich lust of romance and family belonging. The coming of age of Thomas Mollison reached out to modern audience and distinguished the hardship of issues grieved throughout a young teen’s life. Thomas showed emotions of happiness and sadness while overcoming issues and representing himself as a strong young adult. Viewers receive the message of overcoming issues and relate to these by the actions Thomas did in the film, these messages show that The Black Balloon does hold modern views on society today.

Cite this page

Film “The Black Balloon”. (2016, Apr 22). Retrieved from

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