Thursday, July 31, 2014

Like Father Like Son

The plot of Kore-Eda Hirokazu’s latest, Like Father Like Son, is a melodramatic gimmick, something that Hindi films have been doing from ages, but the treatment, how the director narrates the story, is so nuanced that you believe it, even when the film side-steps other important characters to focus on one man and his issues regarding the boy he has been raising as his son.

He and his wife is told by the hospital one day that their newborn was switched during birth and they are raising a working class man’s son (they are well-off, live in a high-rise, he works as an architect), while their own son is being raised by a mechanic.

Both the families meet. They want to sue the hospital. They want their biological son back. It’s not easy.

Kore-Eda works his magic when as he compares and contrast the two families, as regards to raising kids. The mechanic is happy go lucky. The architect is strict. In his bargain, however, the mothers, who’d have the real affinity with the boys, are completely sidelined. They are there, and they accept the situation easily, unlike the architect.

Instead, Kore-Eda focuses on one man’s feeling for this young boy, who is not his biological son, but had been raising him as one. And, in a brilliant twist, in this heart-warming battle between nature vs nurture, nurture wins.

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