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In the small rural community of Bundaberg, Queensland, in the late 1950s, the friendship between teenagers Lola Lovell (Kylie Minogue) and Brownie Hansen (Charlie Schlatter) develops into a passionate love affair. When Lola falls pregnant, they flee to the city, but it's not long before they are tracked down by her mother and the authorities and forcibly separated. Over the next few years, Lola and Brownie stop at nothing to keep their love alive, defying parents, society and the law to find each other and be together.

Review by Craig Miller:
Having never seen this flimsy Aussie romantic drama about small-town teenagers in love in the 1950s, I was expecting more than the atypical genre piece with a story that mimics so many other period pieces of the same ilk. Unfortunately The Delinquents is exactly that, another entry into a genre that is so well-worn even the clichés are clichéd.

It's pretty straight forward with its themes and story machinations - a repressive and conservative 1950s society, forbidden love between misunderstood teenagers, personal and social angst - and these tired concepts on which the film is shouldered is so detrimental to the overall material it just becomes tiresome and, as a film, quite repressive itself.

The action plods along without much bother, and it's not until the two rebellious teenagers hit desperate times and are forced out of their comfort zones that the film sparks any interest at all. Basically, The Delinquents is a star vehicle for Miss Minogue to showcase her various talents and, for the most part, this is exclusively what we get. The film's action takes place just so Minogue can act for camera - her mother locks her in a room: Kylie gazes longingly out a window and cries, an Aunty hides letters from her traveling lover: Kylie explodes into a ball of rage, and so on.

Occasionally it shows some heart, with our "Kyles" giving plenty of herself in some emotionally charged scenes and her transformation over the film time from young, innocent teenager to worldly, mature woman is impressive and much more believable than Charlie Schlatter's efforts. Shclatter looks mostly indifferent in his role as the young searching-for-love Brownie Hansen and, while this may well be a particular acting style I'm not familiar with, it's not one that creates any emotional pull towards his character and, frankly, it's not one I'm looking forward to seeing again.

The DVD is light on for quality extras with a seven-minute fluff piece on the making of the film practically unintelligible - some ordinary mixing affecting the audio and music levels terribly. The interview section, with snippets from Minogue, Schlatter and director Chris Thomson, at least offers the chance to listen to what was said in the making of (these interviews are recycled here) and there's also a short film entitled The Film Score: Music for The Delinquents. It's twenty five minutes spent with composer Miles Goodman - an interesting listen - as he and various other crew members chat about why they chose the US conductor (it was a condition of financing) and the hours spent in scoring a film.

If it wasn't for the debut big screen appearance of a post-Neighbours Kylie Minogue, The Delinquents would be a pretty forgettable affair: just another ho-hum Aussie drama with a B-grade US import and underutilised supporting talent.

Published June 16, 2005

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(Aust, 1989)

CAST: Kylie Minogue, Charlie Schlatter, Bruno Lawrence, Angela Punch-McGregor, Todd Boyce, Desiree Smith, Melissa Jaffer.

DIRECTOR: Chris Thomson

SCRIPT: Clayton Frohman & Mac Gudgeon, based on a novel by Criena Rohan

RUNNING TIME: 99 minutes

PRESENTATION: Widescreen 1.78:1, 16:9 enhanced, Dolby 2.0

SPECIAL FEATURES: Original interviews with Kylie Minogue, Charlie Schlatter and director Chris Thomson, On the Set featurette, Short film on composing the music of The Delinquents, Theatrical trailer.

DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment

DVD RELEASE: April 7, 2005

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