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HomeLatest NewsWhy love has such a huge deficit: "Son" by Florian Zeller was...

Why love has such a huge deficit: “Son” by Florian Zeller was released in Russian theaters KXan 36 Daily News

Date: March 21, 2023 Time: 17:08:05

Peter (Hugh Jackman) has a pretty good life: a successful career as a lawyer with the prospect of joining a political team, a beautiful young wife, Beth (Vanessa Kirby) with a young son, Theo, and a luxurious apartment whose windows They overlook sun-drenched New York City. Peace and tranquility reign in the family, until one day his ex-wife Kate (Laura Dern) comes to the main character. The woman sounds the alarm: their common son Nicholas (Zan McGrath) missed school for a month. Among other oddities observed in the behavior of a teenager, he walks constantly dejected, does not communicate with anyone and also looks at his mother with extreme hostility. The ex-husband agrees to take the offspring to her and take care of her re-education. And now the grades in the subjects are rising, the first girl appears, and friends begin to actively invite to parties. Success in the face! But one day, under the bed of a young man, the newly made stepmother finds a small knife. And later, cuts found on the teenager’s hands make Peter realize that Nicholas’s problems are far more serious than adolescence.

Viewed this way, Florian Zeller’s “Father” is basically a very simple story. Tragic and hysterical, but at the same time extremely ordinary: an elderly person suffers from dementia, and his relatives are forced to watch his loved one gradually slide into the abyss of oblivion. I immediately remember “Love” by Michael Haneke or “Whirlwind” by Gaspard Noe. However, the film by the French writer, playwright, and now also a director was distinguished not only by the brilliant acting work of Olivia Colman and Anthony Hopkins, but also by a special approach to showing the disease: the viewer was literally immersed in the head of a person who gradually loses his memory. And it’s one thing to see an old man stop recognizing those around him. And it’s completely different when you yourself begin to get confused with strings of strangers that appear here and there or abruptly disappear somewhere. Not to mention the problems with determining time: while the hero moved from room to room, only a couple of seconds passed, or several weeks, only Alzheimer’s erased the memory of these days?

Photo: kinopoisk.ru

So “Son” really lacks an introduction to the viewer into the mind of a person suffering from severe mental illness. In the second picture, Zeller decided to return to the topic of depression – a plague no less terrible than senile dementia. Nicholas only suffers from a severe form of this disorder, and it is worth paying tribute to the young Zen McGrath – he manages to quite realistically play a person who has ceased to cope with his own life, which can be seen from the example of a sudden mood swings, even if nothing bad happened, constant nail biting, just so as not to meet the interlocutor’s eyes and an obsessive desire to hurt yourself – from cut hands to hitting your head against the wall.

But all these are external manifestations of depression, but internal questions are already arising, as if the director this time lacks skill or a deeper understanding of the problem at hand. To be fair, the director is still trying to make you feel the deep feelings of a teenager. For example, in some scenes, bringing the camera closer to the hero’s face, drowning out all extraneous noises and replacing them with oppressive silence, then resorting to some visual storytelling elements: all over Peter and Beth’s apartment, just in the bedroom from Nicholas. , the window leans against the wall of the neighboring house, symbolizing the hopelessness of his own situation that the young man feels.

But this is more like some kind of shy steps, and more often what happens on the screen is reduced to a direct and even frontal pronunciation of what hurts someone. By the way, “Son” was originally a play (like “Father”), which Florian Zeller wrote in 2018 and then decided to film when his debut film turned out to be a huge success. Therefore, the conversations of the characters, which seemed quite appropriate on the theatrical stage, are sometimes perceived in the cinema space too emotionally and even bombastic. And about the “Chekhov” weapon, which in the tape also literally fulfills its purpose, only the lazy did not write.

As a result, the title character feels like some kind of “sphynx, not unraveled to the grave.” This is very paradoxical, because at some point Nicholas admits that it was his parents’ divorce that had an extremely detrimental effect on him, yet the constant omissions and escalation of the mystery (including about the reasons why he missed the school with such zeal), although I work for the idea that depression is born from the sum of experiences, but does not fully understand the hero. Therefore, it is no coincidence that critical reviews of the film often include theses about “cheap manipulation of a serious topic”, “attempts to pity the audience with tearful melodrama”, “superficial script”, and also periodically there are opinions that the main character is just a spoiled child who interferes with everyone’s life.

However, the “Son” should not be completely buried. And it is even better to perceive it as a picture not so much about depression as about the experiences of people trying to help someone who is dealing with this scourge. Still, in the films-works of Florian Zeller, along with the depiction of psychological or other illnesses, an equally important role is played by family relationships, which, under the influence of emergency situations, warm up and then become stronger or they finally break. In this sense, the film can offer complex and ambiguous characters, as well as strong acting work: from Laura Dern, whose heroine is still not recovering from a divorce, as she faces the real betrayal of her son, who decides to live with his father, to Hugh Jackman, whose Peter at first seems like a polished careerist, but then the viewer learns that he also didn’t get enough parental care in his time. And this, in turn, results in her excesses with her attempts at all costs to improve relations with Nicolás. Perhaps one of the most interesting collisions in the film is whether adults, also suffering from the ghosts of the past and other problems of life, can give a teenager enough love that he doesn’t take a fatal step into the abyss. And the answer to this question depends only on the viewer.

Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor
Hansen Taylor is a full-time editor for ePrimefeed covering sports and movie news.

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