when i look at Father Back in 2020, I was amazed. The film follows a man named Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) with Alzheimer’s disease and his relationship with his daughter (Olivia Colman). The tension of the film truly portrays what it’s like to emotionally cope with a incurable disease.Movies about Alzheimer’s tend to focus on the patient’s perspective, but Father Dare to consider how those around you are suffering.
The film is the debut feature of writer-director Florian Zeller, who has adapted his script to stunning effect. The film was nominated for six Oscars, two for Best Screenplay and one for Best Actor (a Hopkins Award). It’s an impressive takeaway for a first film — but not surprising, since the film explores Anthony’s inner being. Through his deft handling of narrative space and storytelling, Zeller immediately caught my attention, and I awaited his next project with great anticipation.
The next project is here – it’s son, also based on a play by Zeller. (holy spirit Not in the works yet, but I choose to hold out hope. ) The film follows 17-year-old Nicholas (Zen McGrath) who feels he can no longer live with his mother Kate (Laura Dern). To escape his inner turmoil, he moves in with his successful businessman father Peter (Hugh Jackman), Peter’s new partner Beth (Vanessa Kirby) and their young son. But Beth meets Nicholas with trepidation, and Peter gets an important new job offer, so he has little time for his son.
But Peter needs to start paying attention, because Nicholas is in crisis. It turns out he hasn’t been to school for a month, much to the surprise of both Kate and Peter. In the moment Nicholas talks to his father, he makes his pain clear, saying, “I don’t know what’s happened to me.” It’s clear that their son needs help that neither of them can provide — or rather That being said, everyone who watches the film is aware of this, but this startlingly obvious fact seems to have left both parents overwhelmed for a while.
it hurts me to say that son More than a disappointing follow-up Father. It’s also a horrible, irresponsible movie. The real problem is its fatal misunderstanding of mental illness: It’s like every line is straight out of a book called “How no Talk about mental health. ’ All of this is reflected in the movie’s jaw-droppingly bad ending. If for some reason you’re still dying to see son— I don’t blame you; I was excited — now it’s time to get out, because a whole bunch of spoilers are coming your way. (I’m not entirely sure you can ruin a movie like this son, it conveys its every move, but hey, I can understand not wanting to know the ending until you see it. )
Throughout the film, things go from bad to worse – for Nicholas, for his parents, and, frankly, for everyone watching – and every moment it seems like things are going to get better, only to end up being worse. For a split second, Nicholas is happily dancing with his father and Beth, and seconds later, Peter and Beth are embracing, completely oblivious that Nicholas is even there. Another scene has Nicholas offering to babysit his younger half brother, only to have Beth freak out at the thought of a “weird” like Nicholas taking care of her baby. This constant—and I mean constant—cycle of promoting Nicholas and letting him down makes the film’s conclusion all the more apparent.
After all the mistakes and slights his parents made, Nicholas ended up trying to take his own life, feeling right at home in the after school special. Thankfully, he was caught in time and Nicholas’ parents decided to place him in intensive care. Well, it wasn’t so important that they decided to give Nicholas the help he needed; it was more like the doctors forced them to, and they acquiesced.
Finally, there is a sense of calm. It felt like, with Nicholas out of therapy, Kate, Peter, and Beth could finally live their lives without the burden of their depressed son. It’s a pretty scary emotion, and my skin shakes even as I write these words.but son Not a master class in sentimentality, and understands so clearly what it thinks it is. It blows your mind with its cockiness and domineering score, making it hard to come across as genuine. (Hans Zimmer, you betrayed me.) What the movie really wants to say is that without problems like Nicholas (ugh), these people can get on with their lives (disgusting).
The most pivotal scene comes after this, when Kate and Peter meet with the doctor in charge of Nicholas’ care. He is stern but professional, warning them that if he is temporarily reintroduced to their son, he will immediately beg and plead to take him home. The doctor explained that he had seen this happen many times and the patient had to stay in the hospital for treatment. The doctors could not have been clearer: by sending Nicholas home, he would almost certainly try again to take his own life.
Much screaming and crying followed as Nicholas did exactly what the doctor said.This can (and does should) is a very emotional scene, yet everything feels so hollow. The film repeatedly shows that it doesn’t care about Nicholas, and frankly, neither do his parents. They thought they did, but they were so invested in themselves and their lives that they saw him. It would be disingenuous to have Nicholas begging and pleading to someone who appears to be completely broken; it’s deeply offensive and frustrating considering we’ve seen the movie torturing him with no repercussions. Worse, it’s clear that what we’re seeing is acting, and acting in more than one way.
Ultimately, Kate and Peter did the right thing: They listened to the doctor and refused to take Nicholas home. It was a tough decision for the parents, but they made it because they knew he would be better off in the long run. Or so you would think. Moments later, they’re sitting in the car on the way home, and as they exchange a look, funny music plays and tells you everything you need to know – these irresponsible people will continue to be irresponsible.
Not long after, Nicholas returned home with his parents. Beth takes the kids to visit her parents, so again it’s just Kate, Peter and Nicholas, the family unit he longs for but no longer has. There are moments of peace as the three talk to each other, and Nicholas goes on at length about how he loves his family.It’s supposed to be touching, but the film doesn’t show concern for Nicholas, so it’s just one of many moments to remind you son It’s based on a play.
Not long after his parents mentioned that they shouldn’t let him out of their sight, Nicholas went to the shower alone, which was obviously perfectly fine and they weren’t worried at all. It’s a red flag the size of North America, but Kate and Peter are too preoccupied with themselves and each other to notice. The atmosphere is eerily calm as the two talk to each other about going to the movies as a family, but is quickly shattered by a sudden gunshot.
I’ll back up for a second. Peter has a rifle in his apartment, a gift from his father. The fact that it never occurred to him to take the gun away from the house where he brought back the at-risk, suicidal child tells all you need to know.Finally, all sonThe worst Chekhovian instincts have been fulfilled.
You’d think that’s the end of the movie, but you’d be wrong. Then we turn to the future, where Peter has a long conversation with Nicholas a few years later. Nicholas talked about how happy he is right now — he found the love of his life and moved to Toronto, making him happier than New York City. (Being Canadian, that’s the only real thing in the entire movie. Sorry.) Nicholas even wrote a book, dedicated to his father.
“The development of society has already surpassed the son’s understanding of mental health.“
Of course, this is a complete fantasy. Nicholas is dead, and no amount of blessing can bring him back to life. In the real world, Peter is bereaved and Beth comes to comfort him. son A man so devoted to its insensitivity and tone deafness that he ignores his son’s endless pleas for help, even taking it as a personal affront, would think his son would dedicate a book to him. This moment completely strips Nicholas of any agency it has to do with Peter and his experiences with his son’s mental illness. Peter was the one who really had to suffer, after all, he had a depressed son. This is despicable.
The root of the problem is that the film, like Kate and Peter, constantly ignores Nicholas. son Get more invested in his parents – especially Peter and Beth – and how they keep failing by not understanding him, ignoring him, or blaming him for their own grief without holding them accountable for those actions their son. In one particularly intense moment (the capital D should be very dramatic, given the context) Peter yells at Nicholas: “When you hurt yourself, it’s like you’re doing it to me.” Seriously.Maybe this would fly 5 or even 10 years ago, but society has evolved a long time ago sonunderstanding of mental health.
son Would have effectively shown how insensitivity and lack of understanding can lead to avoidable tragedy. Maybe that’s how it should be. Instead, Florian Zeller forces us to sit through this tedious, grotesque, emotionally heavy, brutal story. It’s a movie so selfish that it completely forgets about the most important character, and he’s in the title. son is an embarrassment, an insult to those with mental health issues, and a deeply incompetent story that relies on overwhelming musical cues, dull staging, and dull acting to make its hilariously dated script look like Life. It’s the worst movie of 2022 and the worst ending.