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Moral of the Movie - Review

The Father (2020)

Academy Awards Special Edition

Drama, Directed by Florian Zeller | Rating: Memorable One-Night Stand | Published: Sept. 2, 2022, 12:10 p.m.


Dementia is a horrible cognitive illness that drastically affects your own perception of the world and makes you question everything that you have seen or come to understand. In a world where nothing makes sense or adds up, it is quite easy to lose trust in everything and everyone… even in your loved ones who care for you the most. All in all, it’s all about understanding where people are coming from and how certain conditions can lead them to a completely twisted experience of the world.


If you liked Sound of Metal (2020), then you’ll definitely enjoy this film that employs empathy to broaden awareness of a condition or different experience of the world as we know it. More broadly, this is a film for those of us who seek to better understand how mental disease can affect our perception fo the world and our relationships with our loved ones who care for us the most.


This film hits too close to home. Having seen first-hand my own mother deal with the matter of carers/nurses and looking after my grandfather for years, I felt like I was watching it all over again in this film. While the case of my family wasn’t particularly with dementia, this is an experience that far too many people unfortunately know about. According to WHO, there are approximately 10 million new cases of dementia worldwide every year. That’s 10 million families that are affected by this horrible disease. Yet, it is still so hard to comprehend what it must be like for patients of dementia. Losing your sense of time, space, memory, and control define the symptoms associated with dementia, but reading about it does not quite allow the full understanding of what these patients go through. This film brilliantly showcases the power of cinema by putting its viewer in the perspective of a person suffering from dementia. We are put in the same position as Anthony and suffer from the same loss of comprehension or understanding of what is going on because we experience the world as Anthony experiences it. This is the beauty of films and their ability to induce a sense of empathy purely from showing everything from one person’s perspective. I loved that about this movie because the audience is often left with the same questions that Anthony has as a sufferer of dementia. Similar to fellow Best Picture nominee Sound of Metal (2020), this film functions as a beautiful exercise of empathy that paves the way for better understanding of what dementia can be like for those who suffer from it. At the heart of it, however, the film is about the relationship between a father and his daughter. Hence, the title is The Father. The entire film revolves around this relationship and is held together by absolutely phenomenal performances from Academy Award-winning actors Anthony Hopkins and Olivia Colman. I felt like I was watching a real father-daughter relationship every time they interacted with the raw emotion that each of them brought to their respective roles. It’s a testament to unconditional love and it truly pained me to see all of the suffering that these characters had to go through because of this horrendous disease. In the end, brought up by two incredibly powerful starring performances, The Father (2020) serves as an emblem of dementia awareness by expanding the audience’s understanding of the disease through empathy in matters that we can all relate to such as doing what you can to care for your loved ones.

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