Tuesday, September 16, 2008


(United Kingdom)

Colin Firth, Jim Broadbent, Juliet Stevenson, Matthew Beard

"Between every father and his son there is a story to be told."

Cine Europa
Cinema 1, Shang Cineplex

This poignant tale is based on the autobiographical novel by Blake Morrison. It recounts his conflicted relationship with his father. Blake is portrayed by the Colin Firth. While Jim Broadbent plays his father, Arthur who is stricken with cancer. When I first read the synopsis about the film on the CineEuropa pamphlet, I immediately thought of Mitch Alboom's Tuesdays with Morrie.

The film skips from scenes with Blake's childhood to scenes of him visiting his ailing father. It spans through 30 years of their lives. It deals with the typical complex relationship between a father and his son. A father who always teases his son for his shortcomings. A son who grows to resent his overbearing father for interfering with his life's choices.

The film progresses at a slow pace, taking its time to really develop the characters. The treatment of certain issues involving the characters lives was a bit cautious. The director or should I say the scriptwriter didn't want to reveal too much details. He left it to the audience to ponder about what really happened. It was neatly edited and well polished. Not too sentimentally sickening nor too sanitized either. The two lead actors were perfect for the roles. Colin Firth with his forlorn gaze gave a solid performance. Jim Broadbent was consistently good. His portrayal of the sometimes annoying to the point of being obnoxious father was fascinating to watch. He had a wide range of expressions to depict Arthur's different moods.

The question in the title isn't literal. It begs to ask you the question when was the last time you really saw your father? Not for what he stands for but who he really is. A complex human being at his most vulnerable self exposed to the pitfalls of life. A person who isn't perfect yet continues to love you unconditionally despite your own imperfections.

So I conclude by asking you "and when did you last see your father?"

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