It was a few years back that I had witnessed one of the finest plays at the Prithvi Theatre called The Father. Starring Naseeruddin Shah and Ratna Pathak Shah, the play was an official adaptation of the 2012 French play Le Père. On Oscar’s eve, I managed to watch The Father which is a movie adapted from the same play. With as many as 6 nominations including Best Picture and Best Actor, this one has a lot going for it. Is it worth your time, stay tuned.
Story & Screenplay
The Father is the story of an aging man who is dealing with progressively severe memory loss. The story is emotional and heaetbreaking. I could speak of my own grandfather who was suffering from the same disorder. And the screenplay is designed in such a way that it makes the audience go through what the main protagonist is feeling in that moment. It is so beautifully portrayed in painfully difficult sequences that it does leave you to a point wherein you are confused, just like the main protagonist. It is haunting and chilling to even think of it, but here you do get a glimpse of what so many aging people suffer from. As they say oldage is a curse and this film will make you empathize with elderly people. What the screenplay also focusses on is the relationship of our main protagonist with his daughter. It is extremely heartbreaking to watch that culminates into a finale that will make you weep in buckets. That ending did take a piece of me and I am not getting it back anytime soon!
Dialogues, Music & Direction
The dialogues are beautifully penned. They are melancholic and give you a sense of grimness. The BGM is beautiful and that opening piece lays the foundation for the drama to follow. Director Florian Zeller has done a phenomenal job with the direction. The direction is top notch and a movie watching experience that will linger on long after it has ended.
All performances are excellent but two of them have maximum screentime. Olivia Colman as Anne gives a very dignified performance. Her portrayal of a helpless daughter is heartbreaking to watch and she portrays her pain brilliant. And it is the veteran Anthony Hopkins who as Anthony gives a heartwrenching performance. This is probably the best act individually that I have witnessed in a very ling time. Calling it an acting masterclass would be an understatement. This year, he will most likely be awarded the Best Actor and deservedly so.
The Father showcases a haunting and chilling of portrayal of oldage that will linger on long after the film has ended. This is a heartbreaking masterpiece that will leave you numb and speechless at the end. Available in a theatre near you.