The Father looks like a pile of conventional dramas about old age sickness. The first few minutes went like that. Anthony (Anthony Hopkins), a person with dementia, and his daughter, Anne (Olivia Colman), get into an argument. Anne is upset after the nurse she recruited decided to leave, due to her father’s rude attitude. Anthony accused the nurse of stealing his watch. In fact, he just forgot where he used to keep the clock.
Then Anne expressed her intention to move from London to Paris to follow her new lover. A news that clearly did not like Anthony. That’s why Anne insisted on hiring a nurse. He was reluctant to choose the last option, which was to put his father in a nursing home. Best Movie Site
The events above show fights and dilemmas that we don’t know how many times we have found them in films with a similar theme. Again, conventional. Until the next scene comes, it changes all perceptions about the narrative. At this point, probably the majority of you have already watched The Father, but just in case, I won’t go into that turning point any further. Certainly, this is one of the most creative forms of narrative, as well as the most effective, in its aim to bring the audience as close as possible to the condition of the dementia patient.
The Father is the second big screen adaptation of Le Père (French Floride being the first), a stage show by Florian Zeller, who co-directed and wrote the screenplay (with Christopher Hampton). Having been in the world of theater scriptwriting for several years, I know very well how big a challenge it is. Without technology such as films, writers have to squeeze creativity harder, in order to produce a fresh spectacle in the midst of limitations. One that is most likely to be tampered with is the narrative form, because these elements are not (always) directly proportional to the increase in budget. Movie Review
What we get from The Father is an example of that creativity. Surreal but easy to digest, sometimes looks like horror, unique but substantial or not just a gimmick. As the story progresses, the audience gets an idea of the condition of dementia. Anthony’s memories were swapped, scattered, like a puzzle that had been put out of place. Easy to understand, because the script holds important writing principles. A basic principle that is often forgotten: Show, don’t tell.
Zeller’s directing balances the two approaches, by translating the style of stage performance into the medium of film, while retaining its artistic quirks. Sometimes, the camera replaces the role of lighting, by not shifting the focus, continuing to record the character in the monologue. But on another occasion, Zeller created a sensation similar to watching theatre. The character is placed in the center of the screen, then the light is highlighted, which, although it is more subtle (read: not as bright and flashy as stage lights), reflects the atmosphere when the actor is getting the spotlight on stage.
And like theatre, any script as strong as it is will be useless without the support of a quality cast. Watching Colman, we will feel how tight it is to see our loved ones slowly decline, until they no longer remember who we are, but for the sake of that person, we have to hold back our emotions, hide them as if everything is fine, even if every once in a while, no matter how strong our defenses are. self, several bursts finally unbearable.
Moreover, Hopkins appears heartbreaking, as a man of high self-esteem who keeps trying to deny his condition. Confusion was evident in his eyes, which often radiated emptiness, as memory fragments were erased, before breaking out in tears. At that time, Anthony’s painting entitled “memory” had almost completely faded away. Leaving a piece of white paper that signifies his return to purity, when life has not been colored by complexity, and tears only flow because of longing for the person who brought him into the world. Top Movie