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The father: What does a family mean to us?

By Byun So-young | 기사입력 2021/08/04 [08:16]

The father: What does a family mean to us?

By Byun So-young | 입력 : 2021/08/04 [08:16]

▲ The Father directed by Florian Zeller places viewers in the disoriented mind of a man stricken with dementia and his family.


The Father directed by Florian Zeller places viewers in the disoriented mind of a man stricken with dementia and his family.  

 

“Who exactly am I?” This line goes through the whole plot of this movie. Who is telling the truth? Is it me or her? Am I dreaming now? Nobody can find out the truth until the end of the movie. In this movie nominated in 6 categories at the Academy Awards, what attracts so many people?

 

Anthony (played by Anthony Hopkins) feels awkward these days. His older daughter, Ann (Olivia Colman) hires a caregiver to look after Anthony, even though he insists that he doesn’t need one. Ann even suggests for him to go to a nursing home. He says to himself: “I am completely fine. Why is she constantly saying that? Maybe she’s planning to leave me. Yes, she said she’s leaving for France. Her husband, Paul, is also suspicious. I think they are acting in collusion, trying to sell my house and abandon me.”

 

Then a new caregiver comes in. Anthony treats her kindly, but something’s wrong with her. Her face changed. She’s not the one who visited him the other day. What’s even stranger is that Ann’s face also changed. And she says that she is not married. What’s going on? 

 

Meanwhile, the new caregiver, Laura, reminds Anthony of her dead daughter Lucy. Anthony has always favored Lucy over Ann, which upsets her to this day. He also suspects Paul of stealing his watch. Ann says, “I’m sick and tired of this. I can’t stand it anymore.” Paul is also offended by Anthony’s constant doubt and in the end, he slaps Anthony across in the face, saying not to be hard on people around him. 

 

Suddenly, everything changes. He wakes up in a hospital, not in his room. The place where he believed to be his home, turns out to a nursing house. Paul and Laura are also nurses from the hospital. His daughter Ann has already left him long ago. Now there’s no family member left to offer words of comfort. He is completely alone. Not knowing what to do, and even not knowing who he is, Anthony starts to cry like a helpless child.

 

Unlike other movies, this one develops solely from the view of Anthony. Thanks to this unique perspective, audiences can feel and sympathize with the pain of those who have dementia patients in their family. Seeing their loved ones losing memories, it is certainly not easy for them to overcome the pain and sorrow, and maybe that’s the reason Ann left Anthony.

 

64th Edition of Weeklymonday (August 2, 2021) 

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