Accept responsibility for your life

With great power comes geat responisibility

The role of Responsibility

The Black Balloon is a local drama film, which starts off with the hard-luck Mollison family who move to a new city, giving 16 year old Thomas the stress of fitting in to a new school as well as caring for his autism-affected brother Charlie. However, the film soon moves into darker territory, focusing on Thomas’s frustration at the responsibility he didn't ask for and which he fears will affect his own shot at happiness. It also focuses on Maggie, the mother, who takes on the responsibility of raising an autism-affected son while being heavily pregnant at the same time. In the 21st century, this sort of responsibility is hard for most teenagers and a few parents to even understand.


Thomas's responsibility

Thomas Mollison (played by Rhys Wakefield) is a teenage boy from a peculiar family who attempts to adjust to his new neighbourhood as his 16th birthday is not too far away. Turning 16 soon but also adjusting to a new town, school and friends isn’t enough for a teenager to cope with, especially for Thomas who’s family is about as unpredictable as they get. Recently, Maggie, Thomas’s mother, had revealed she was pregnant. Therefore as a result Thomas found himself looking after Charlie much more frequently than usual. In the 21st century that we live in now most teenagers would not look twice at someone who had autism and they especially would not take responsibility for one. As time goes by the film follows Thomas and Charlie along their ups and their downs. During those moments when they had their downs Thomas finds it hard to accept the reality of his life as Charlie’s brother and wishes to break free from the responsibilities of it “... He’s not my responsibility……. He’s a freak!” The film shows us that Thomas was hit with many difficulties in his life as Charlie’s brother but his love for his brother and his now given responsibility for Charlie is what makes Thomas realise the role of responsibility he is blessed with.

Thomas is an ordinary, ever day teenager. He plays games, sports and likes girls, especially a particular girl named Jackie. During the film the audience get to see the relationship that Jackie and Thomas develop throughout the film. The audience also see the more responsibility Thomas has to take on now that there is a girl in the picture. In most scenes Thomas is a part of something bad occurs especially with Charlie but in other scenes you get to see him taking on his role of responsibility and enhancing it.

Maggie's responsibility

Maggie (Toni Collete) is a mother of a severely autistic teenage son, Charlie, another teenage son, Thomas, and a baby daughter who is not brought into the film until the end. Of course being a mother with a son who has a severe case of autism and also being heavily pregnant is the biggest responsibility and challenge anyone could ever be given, but instead of giving up and breaking down she accepts the challenges she is given in life. Maggie is a free spirit who loves her roles of responsibility (mother/wife/friend). Maggie's role as a wife is not displayed in the film, but their relationship whenever she and Simon are shown together is shown to be as reliable and dependable. Maggie's role as a mother is also shown in the film but when Maggie is admitted into the hospital things begin to spirral out of control and Thomas faces the challenge of filling in for Maggie. Being a mother of two teenage sons and staying in the hospital most nights would obviously worry any especially a responsible mother like Maggie. Most mother now in the 21st century would have given up or broken down by now but that is because they do not have the 'get up when you fall' attitude that Maggie has. The mothers in these generations believe that when you are 16 or older you are free to do what you want, when you want because you are no longer their responsibility.

Simon's repsonsibility

Simon (played by Erik Thompson), is the father of both Charlie and Thomas. He is an enormous cricket fan who is prone to holding intense discussions with his teddy bear. Although Simon loves Charlie very much he does not have the calm and collective attitude that Maggie has with Charlie. In the film the audience gets to see the relationship between Simon and his wife, Maggie and also the responsibility he has to take on when Maggie falls sick and has to stay over night in the hospital. "......well whose going to take care of the house and the boys?..... for Christ sake Maggie I'm not that useless!" This scene showed how Simon was taking over of the responsibilities that Maggie had left behind and that he is willing to take over.

Simon's responsibility and willing to take care of his family while Maggie is away is an example of what fathers were like back in the 90's. In present times fathers who have autistic children would either leave all the responsibilities for the mothers. Simon's acceptance for the responsibility for his son is what we need now a days.

The Black Balloon Fall At Your feet