The Father

Anthony Hopkins delivers another exceptional performance as a man losing his mind.

“The Father,” starring Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman, is a much more powerful dramatization of the affects of dementia than “Supernova,” and I liked that movie. This one, however, is allows us to see it through the perspectives of an old man suffering from this disease. It represents what that particular mind processes-what’s real and what’s fabricated-and the leading performances are just as excellent as the movie’s depiction.

Hopkins stars as an aging man named Anthony and Colman is his daughter Anne. The movie opens with him thinking his former caretaker stole his watch, and her telling him he has it in a special hiding spot, as well as informing him she’s moving from London to Paris to live with her new husband (Rufus Sewell). So, she can’t take care of him all the time, but she also can’t leave him alone. He constantly rebuffs her assistance, saying that he can manage on his own.

The plot thickens for the main protagonist.

After she leaves, he finds her ex-husband Paul (Mark Gatiss) in his flat, who claims this isn’t his flat. And he also becomes shocked that his daughter isn’t whom he recognizes. She’s played by Olivia Williams. Then, the Olivia Colman Anne comes back and gives him a new caretaker named Laura (Imogene Poots), who reminds him of his other dead daughter Lucy. And when he and Anne go to the doctors, she reveals to him she wasn’t even going to Paris to begin with. This is just the beginning.

This is the part where you say: “Wait, what? I’m confused. Who is this? Didn’t you tell me this? Or who is this man?” That was my reaction, as well. So, it’s not just Anthony who is confused. Like I said, this movie allows us to see it through the perspectives of a man suffering from dementia. So much of this happens, that it’s often hard to tell what is true and what is false. It’s not a con game, there are no M. Night Shyamalan twists, and it’s not a thriller. It just represents how the human mind functions when it enters a certain point.

“The Father” was directed by Florian Zeller, who adapts his own French play “Le Pere” with help from screenplay writer Christopher Hampton. He guides both Hopkins and Colman in roles that makes you feel bad for their characters. One deals with the hardships of aging, and other deals with the hardships of dealing with his aging. My family still worries about my grandparents, who are in their 90s. They need all the help they can get, so I totally sympathize these characters.

Hopkins gives one of his best performances, as he balances his emotions and character development. I also admired his how character shares the name name and birthday, but that’s beside the point. He’s a great actor, who’s reached to a certain age, when he takes on these particular roles. And Colman is perfect as his daughter, when she puts humanity in her character, whether it’s real or a fragment of the old timer’s memories. There’s also some yelling, some crying, and some peaceful moments-all of which are sincere and riveting. And the film, itself, is sincere and riveting.

Rating: 3.5 out of 4.

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Categories: Drama

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