Florian Zeller’s The Father demonstrates a mastery of film technique and performance. Based on his 2012 play Le Père, Zeller’s film offers a chilling, intimate look into the mind of a person with Alzheimer’s disease. The film showcases a highly effective use of editing techniques, which pulls the entire story together. Anthony Hopkins gives one of the most inspired and raw performances of his career. With The Father, you can expect an extremely empathetic and human film.
Story Through Editing
One of the most interesting elements of The Father is its creative use of film editing. Early on, you experience a collage-like mish-mash of characters and faces. The film makes you question what is occurring in real-time and what is in the past. Interestingly, while the film’s timeline or plot structure seems off, you can almost piece a coherent story together. Even more interesting is by the end, all of the editing comes together, and you realize what you thought was all wrong. By the end of the film, the editing comes around full circle, and it all makes sense. The story that started as a bundle of tangled string resolves into a tight bow. It all demonstrates the extremely high level of detail and execution by the filmmakers.
An Inspired Performance
Let’s be honest. Anyone remotely familiar with cinema of the last 30 years knows about Anthony Hopkins. Furthermore, anyone who’s watched his movies in the last 30 years knows the power of his performances. Yet, even acknowledging all of that, Anthony Hopkins still delivers what may be one of his best performances in The Father. He goes full range with a breadth and depth of emotions. Anthony Hopkins captivates with anger and misery to charm and delight. He’s managed to usher the audience into the experience of a person who has Alzheimer’s. His performance will wreck you.
Empathy with an H
The greatest strength of The Father is its empathetic take on a very human story. The film gets you into the world of the people who deal with Alzheimer’s and those around them. The film highlights the pain and struggle faced by all of those involved. While you may feel sympathetic by the end, the film seems less concerned with that. It draws you into a raw story that will both shatter you and make you whole. Overall, it’s that empathetic quality that allows anyone to connect with the story, regardless of their experience with Alzheimer’s. For that, The Father is a win.
The Father is availablein theaters and ondemand now!