The Father – Laborious

Rating (2.5 out of 5)

Summary: Aging and dementia are such difficult subjects to address. The pain and agony experienced by the elderly and their family are immense. While some of the pain was addressed in this movie, it flittered back and forth between his thoughts and reality, and I was never sure what was real. While I understand that was part of the point, it made the movie somewhat confusing.

I thought the performances were fine, but nothing jumped off the screen and struck me as the best ever. Anthony Hopkins’s win was a huge surprise to me. His performance was simply fine.

Two paragraphs is a little short for a review… Why is it confusing? Well, you don’t know how many days have passed, who is who, and what discussions were real. Then similar to M. Night Shyamalan’s movie, you are hit with a big surprise in the end. It is a cheap gimmick used to shock people into understanding the complexity of the issue, and it assumes the viewer is stupid, and that is the only way they get the message. I am not fond of this trick overall.

Then I think this trick unwound critical items for me. For example, there are scenes where Anthony’s daughter Anne (Olivia Colman) struggles with her father. However, now we know much of this was false memories. Did she really struggle? The pain for a family is a serious issue, and now it’s not real.

At an hour and a half running time, this 2 hours of work. “Father” is just not for me.

Plot: The experience of Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) as he falls further into dementia.