THE FATHER - Review

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THE FATHER
Rated: PG-13
Release Date: February 26, 2021
Director: Florian Zeller
Stars: Anthony Hopkins, Olivia Colman, Mark Gatiss, Olivia Williams
Plot: An aging man tries to keep things in order, but his mind is confusing reality with things he thinks are real
 
Clint Says: See this in theaters if you can
 
 
(Limited theatrical run)
 
If you have ever watched a loved one struggle with dementia, you know how heartbreaking it is to see them lose their grip on reality. It is a brutal disease that takes the greatest among us and whittles them down to the equivalent of an unteachable child. Yet, you can see in their eyes that, somehow, they know there is a forgotten world in which they still live. 
 
Portraying dementia on screen to this point has been a very difficult task. Some films have done a decent job of it, most haven't. This film nails it. And not only does it nail it, it puts you into the mind of the afflicted. You will walk out of the theater after this film thanking your lucky stars that you don't really feel the way you have felt for the last two hours. 
 
Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman give unforgettable performances even though it must have been an extremely difficult exhausting process to film this every day. It is difficult to watch as the breakdown of one person leads to the breakdown of another, but it is also beautiful to watch as the broken learn to mend and lift each other up. 
 
This is not a happy tale. It is not a film that ends with a tidy bow. It gets more and more messy as it progresses, and it becomes more tragic and heartbreaking as the truth is slowly revealed. Just like with dementia, there are no happy endings here. 
 
While this isn't an entertaining film, it is one that I highly recommend. It is not easy to watch, but it will give you a better understanding of what dementia patients experience. Beyond that it is also a masterful job of storytelling and acting that is well worth seeing. 

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Guest Wednesday, 21 April 2021