The Son - Review (London Film Festival 2022)
Is Everything Okay at Home? 3 / 5
Directed by Florian Zeller.
Peter has his busy life with new partner Beth and their baby thrown into disarray when his ex-wife Kate turns up with their teenage son, Nicholas.
Florian Zeller's The Father was a stunningly intimate and devastating look into the effect that dementia can have on a person and those around them. His next feature The Son continues to explore complex and personal themes focusing on mental illness but lacks the intimacy and emotional awareness that made his debut so powerful.
An expectedly emotionally draining watch throwing triggering themes of depression, generational trauma, and fractured family dynamics - it's safe to say that this isn't a laugh a minute riot. I am also not surprised to see the mixed response as it treads on ground that is unmistakably problematic.
Hugh Jackman shines in the eye of the storm as he balances work, his past and present family life, his son's emotional wellbeing, and the strained relationship with his own father with a heavy heart.
Expanding on what The Father achieved lessens the impact as the film tries its hardest to evoke a reaction, purposely rips your heartstrings, and borders on being emotionally manipulative rather than a well told story about a strenuous subject.