Just as I thought that I had not seen Anthony Hopkins in a movie for a long time I accidentally discovered “The Father”(2020). I did not read the synopsis, nor did I watch the trailer, I just knew I had to watch it.
You know, when it comes to actors of this caliber, you are aware that you will watch a good movie, but when you haven’t seen him for a long time, you know that he is amazing but somehow you have forgotten is brilliance (if it makes sense).
With this movie Hopkins shoves his talent in our face, so that we will never forget him.
The script is based on the French play “Le Père” by director Florian Zeller, which masterfully depicts a man struggling with dementia. What is special about this movie is that finally the ball is on the other side, i.e the story is told from the point of view of the patient, and not from the point of view of the one who takes care of the patience (as we have seen in most movies with this kinds of topics).
As you watch the movie and get more and more into the character of Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) you will start to feel like your throat is closing, like you cannot catch your breath and you come aware of the fact that as the time progresses you take deeper and deeper breaths. After a while, it will become clear to you what it is about and you will probably guess the end, but Anthony’s condition, which is getting worse, will make you unable to distinguish what is real and what is his imagination. It seems like he’s leaving in a parallel world, a world in which he is a prisoner of his own mind, where he is constantly struggling with himself trying to maintain at least part of his personality, his memories, his life. We see how everything around him is constantly changing, the characters, the places, we have the repetition of the same thing, the same conversations, just a terrible depiction of suffering from dementia. I do not want to underestimate the importance of the film with my descriptions, you must visually see the suffering to fully feel it.
Olivia Coleman (Anne) is truly amazing, so many emotions, so many truly felt facial expressions, so much grief for her father and so much guilt that she leaves him alone. I am truly satisfied when I watch a movie that will bring so much to the essence of the movie, that will make me fully feel the weight it carries with it. I rarely cry in movies, but this time I honestly couldn’t help myself, the final masterclass monolog of Hopkins destroyed me. Sir Anthony’s brilliant acting left me without any comment… you know we are all human, we all have parents. If you are not touched by this character, you should seriously start worrying about yourself.
And as expected, Hopkins and Coleman have been nominated for Oscar for this film, and or course the Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role went to the man that gave us nightmares in 1991.
Finally, I will end with a line from the final scene of the film that will remain in my film memory for a long time: “I feel as if I am losing all my leaves. The branches, and the wind, and the rain. I do not know what is happening anymore … ”
And my throat is closing again.
For Camera Obscura,