‘The Son’ Ending, Explained – Hugh Jackman Stars in Year’s Cruelest Movie

when i saw father Back in 2020, I was surprised. The film, about a man named Anthony (Anthony Hopkins) who suffers from Alzheimer’s, and his strained relationship with his daughter (Olivia Colman), was an authentic portrayal of what it’s like to deal with an emotionally difficult illness. . Films about Alzheimer’s tend to focus on a perspective of suffering, however father Dare to calculate how the people around them are suffering.

The film was the perfect debut of writer-director Florian Zeller, who adapted his drama to great effect. The film received six Oscar nominations, winning two—one for Best Screenplay, the other for Best Actor (for Hopkins). It’s an impressive feat for a debut film—but not surprising, given how well the film explores Anthony’s inner self. Through his masterful management of diegetic space and storytelling, Zeller immediately rose to the top of my radar, and I await his next project with great anticipation.

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That next project is here – and it is son, also based on one of Zeller’s plays. (holy spirit Not in the works yet, but I choose to hope.) The film follows 17-year-old Nicholas (Zane McGrath), who realizes he can no longer live with his mother Kate (Laura Dern). He takes refuge from his inner turmoil by moving in with his father Peter (Hugh Jackman), a successful businessman, Peter’s new partner Beth (Vanessa Kirby) and their infant son. But Beth meets Nicholas with horror, and Peter gets a new job opportunity, so he gives his son the time of day.

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But Peter needs to start paying attention, as Nicholas is in crisis. It turns out that he hasn’t been to school in a month, which surprises both Kate and Peter. In a moment between Nicholas and his father, he clarifies his pain, “I don’t know what’s happening to me.” It’s clear that their son needs help that neither of them can provide—or rather, it’s clear to anyone who’s watching the movie, but it’s a glaringly obvious fact to both parents for some time. It seemed to end.

It pains me to say this son Not just a disappointing follow-up father. It’s also a terrible, irresponsible movie. The real problem is its fatal misunderstanding of mental illness: it’s as if every line is read straight from a pamphlet called “How To.” no To talk about mental health. All of this is revealed in the film’s terrifying finale. If for some reason you still want to watch son– And I don’t blame you; I was once excited – now it’s time to go, because a lot of spoilers are coming your way. (I’m not entirely sure you can screw up a movie like that sonwhich telegraphs its every move, but hey, I can understand you not wanting to know the ending before you see it.)

Ricka Garten/Sony Pictures Classics

Things go from bad to worse throughout the film—for Nicholas, for his parents, and, frankly, for everyone in the audience—and every moment it seems like things are going to get better, they get worse. In one moment, Nicholas is happily dancing with his father and Beth, and seconds later, is hugging Peter and Beth and completely forgetting that Nicholas is even there. Another scene finds Nicholas offering his baby’s half-brother to babysit, only for Beth to freak out over the idea of ​​Nicholas babysitting her baby. This constant—and I mean constant—picking up Nicholas and putting him down makes the film’s conclusion even more obvious.

After all the mistakes and little his parents feel that he is right at home in the special after school, Nicholas finally tries to take his own life. Thankfully, he was found in time, and Nicholas’ parents decided to put him in intensive psychiatric care. Well, it’s not so much that they decide to get Nicholas’ help. It’s more that a therapist forces their hand, and they accept.

Finally, there is a sense of peace. It seems, with Nicholas away in therapy, Kate, Peter and Beth can finally live their lives without the burden of their depressed son. It’s a terrible feeling, and my skin keeps writing those words. but son A master class in emotionality and understanding it is not as clearly thought as it is. Its self-importance and overwhelming score make you hang over the head, making it hard to ever be sincere. (Hans Zimmer, you betrayed me.) What the movie really seems to say is that without a problem like Nicholas (ugh), these guys can get on with their lives (ick).

The most important scene comes after this when Kate and Peter meet the doctor in charge of Nicholas’ care. He is stern but professional, warning them that when he is momentarily reintroduced to his son, he will immediately beg and beg to be taken home. The doctor explains that he has seen this happen repeatedly, and that it is important that the patient remains under hospital care. The doctor could not be clearer: allow Nicholas to come home, and it is almost certain that he will try to take his life again.

What follows is a lot of crying and wailing, as Nicholas does exactly what the doctor says he will. It can be (and indeed is should) may be a very emotional scene, but everything feels so empty. The movie makes it clear that it doesn’t care about Nicholas, and frankly, neither do his parents. They think they do, but they are so invested in themselves and their lives that they see past it. It is folly to beseech Nicholas and plead with men who seem utterly destroyed; This is very unpleasant and disturbing, considering that we have seen the film without any violence. Worse, it’s clear that what we’re seeing is working, in more ways than one.

Finally, Kate and Peter do something right: they listen to the doctor and refuse to take Nicholas home. It’s a tough decision for parents, but they do it because they know he’s going to get better in the long run. Or so you think. Moments later, they get into a car on the way home, and funny music plays as they share a look that tells you all you need to know – irresponsible people being irresponsible. are

Ricka Garten/Sony Pictures Classics

Soon after, Nicholas returned home with his parents. Beth takes the baby to meet her parents, so it’s just Kate, Peter and Nicholas again, the family unit she longs for but no longer has. There is a moment of calm as the three talk to each other, and Nicholas gives an extended monologue about how much he loves his family. It should feel moving, but the movie does nothing to show that it cares about Nichols, so it’s just one of many moments to remind you. son Based on a game.

Literally moments after his parents mention that they shouldn’t let him out of their sight, Nicholas leaves to take a shower alone, which is apparently totally fine and they don’t mind one bit. It’s a red flag the size of North America, but Kate and Peter are spending too much time on themselves, and each other, to notice. There is an eerie calm as the two talk to each other about watching a movie as a family, but it is quickly shattered by the sudden blast of a rifle.

I’ll be back a second. Peter has a rifle in his apartment that was a gift from his father. The fact that he never thought to remove the gun from the house to bring back his dangerous, suicidal child tells you everything you need to know. Finally, all sonChekhov’s worst instincts are the result.

You’d think that’s where the movie would end, but you’d be wrong. We then go to the future, a few years later, where Peter has a long conversation with Nicholas. Nicholas talks about how happy he is now—he’s found the love of his life and moved to Toronto, which makes him happier than New York City. (As a Canadian, that’s the only thing that’s true in the entire movie. Sorry.) Nichols has also written a book, which he dedicates to his father.

Society has evolved in the past to understand son’s mental health.

This is, of course, a complete fantasy. Nicholas is dead, and any wish money can bring him back. In the real world, Peter stands still as Beth comes to comfort him. son He is so engrossed in his apathy and deafness that the person who ignores his son’s endless prayers for help, considers it as personal enmity, thinking that his son will ever dedicate a book to him. It’s a moment that completely robs Nicholas of any agency, all of which Peter and his son experience about mental illness. Peter is the one who really suffered, after all, a sad son. It is despicable.

The root of the problem is that the film, like Kate and Peter, constantly ignores Nicholas. son He is very invested in his parents, especially Peter and Beth, and how they constantly fail their son by not understanding him, ignoring him, or blaming him for his sadness. Without them responding to these actions. In a particularly heated moment (judging by the context, it should be highly dramatic with a capital D) Peter yells at Nicholas, “When you hurt yourself, it’s like you’re doing it to me.” Seriously. Maybe it would have flown 5 or even 10 years ago, but society has evolved a long time ago sonUnderstanding mental health.

son It can be an effective demonstration of how apathy and lack of understanding can lead to avoidable tragedy. Maybe that’s how it should have been. Instead, Florian Zeller forces us to sit through this plodding, bleak, emotionally taxing, brutal story. It’s a film with such self-serving importance that it completely forgets the most important character, and he’s right in the title. son There’s an embarrassment, a disdain for people with mental health issues, and a dramatically uncomfortable story that relies on heavy musical cues, thin staging, and wooden acting to bring its comedic script to life. Can be brought in any form. This is the worst movie of 2022, and the worst ending.

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