English Reviews

The Father(2020)

The father opens to melodramatic scenes of Ann struggling to cope with her ailing father Anthony, who is suffering from dementia. She is unable to move on with her life as Anthony doesn’t trust any of the carers she appoints. The movie establishes the characters in these initial sequences and we develope this deep emotional-sync with both the father and the daughter.

In one of the sequences that followed, Anthony attends his door when the door bell rang. A lady was at the door and she starts speaking like she is his daughter who is back after a small shopping. Anthony is completely confused about what is going on. I was sitting in my sofa totally baffled just like him. This is where ‘The Father’ acts quite differently to other films of its kind which discusses dementia. The writer-director Zeller puts our mind inside a person struggling with dementia, what an idea sir !! He makes us experience the mental instabilities of a dementia patient, like the confusion of identity, memory slips, forgetting your whereabouts, miskeeping your belongings etc., with remarkable brilliance.

The apartment design is a stunning example of how Zeller has made use of the interiors, portraits on the wall, furnitures, the windows and the floor tiles as aids to his idea. Everything Anthony sees, feels and believes changes in the very next moment and we are part of this chilling ride is what makes the movie so special.

Coming to the acting department, Olivia Coleman is brilliant in her restraint portrayal of Ann. But Anthony Hopkins as Anthony was star of the movie who completely embrace the role with a deeply affecting display. And the climax sequence where he feels he is losing all his branches and leaves is surely the acting masterclass we will remember for a very long time.

In the 2021 Oscar for the best actor, the front runners according to me were Chadwick Bosman for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Riz Ahmed for Sound of Metal along with Anthony Hopkins. I am sure even the oscar jury would have been split on this. But the last act of ‘The Father’ where Hopkins breakdown saying ‘I miss my mommy’ was powerful enough to break the heart of even a stone-hearted man. Surely, this particular scene would have made the jury in favour of Hopkins in the last round.

The father is an extremely thought out drama that is so fresh in its treatment compared to movies of its kind.

By sreenathjvm

I am a healthcare professional. An ardent movie lover. Writing about movies forever has been an obsession.

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