Review: Samson and Delilah (4.5/5)

Cinemanila truly brings the best of world cinema to the Philippines. Samson and Delilah is its biggest surprise. I have no idea what the film is about when I entered the cinema. All I know is that Samson and Delilah was screened in this year's Cannes and it was the recipient of the Camera d'Or (Golden Camera). Camera d'Or is an award given to the best first feature film presented in one of the Cannes' selections (Official Selection, Director's Fortnight, or International Critic's Week).

Not to be confused with the biblical epic, Samson and Delilah is a tender love story between two Aboriginal teenagers caught in dire poverty and solvent addiction. Other than that, there isn’t anything else to say about the plot. Although the pace is slow, it is never boring. We are left amused by the characters’ quirks and dark humor. Director Warwick Thornton finds beauty in the tragedies that beset Samson and Delilah. These tragedies bring out the best traits of these characters. Life may be cruel, but as long as love exists, no tragedy is too great to overcome.

The first thing I noticed about the film is its lack of dialogue. The characters rarely talk and when they do, they speak in Pidgin English. The print that was shown in Cinemanila doesn’t have English translation, but no worries. You don’t need words to understand the film. The visuals artfully presented by director Warwick Thornton are enough to articulate the language of cinema. On that alone, Samson and Delilah proves to be a real triumph.

Samson and Delilah is so far this year’s most original, daring, and haunting movie.


Related Posts with Thumbnails