Thursday, February 13, 2014

[Review] Like Father, Like Son

In this Japanese film, Writer/Director, Hirokazu Koreeda, presents an unconventional situation study on familial bonds.

Like Father, Like Son is a story about two couples whose sons were switched at birth, and they're just now finding out--six years later. It's the type of thought-provoking setup that carries enough tricky drama (and then some) to make emotions run wild for all those involved. The parents are faced with the extremely difficult predicament of deciding whether to go through with a swapping process or not.

The film approaches this weighty subject with great sincerity, exploring every intricate avenue, while raising more questions than answers. It's such a stirring series of events, but it's gently told with immense grace. Never once is its authenticity doubted.

The performances are stellar all around. Masaharu Fukuyama plays an uptight businessman and strict father, while his wife (Machiko Ono) is more outwardly loving and involved in their son's life. Riri Furanki and Yoko Maki play the opposite family. Both parties are vastly dissimilar in ideals and social class. Each character handles the news differently, displaying all types of nuanced emotions. And the child actors are amazingly impressive.

Like Father, Like Son will leave you conflicted on many levels. And considering a story as complicated as this, it shouldn't be any other way.


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