Soshite chichi ni naru (Like Father, Like Son) 2013 PG
12.30PM Sun 3 Feb 2019 (2hrs 1min)
GOMA | Cinema A | Free
‘Reshaping a classic babies-switched-at-birth plot into a thoughtful exploration of the meaning of parenthood, Japanese helmer Hirokazu Koreeda’s Like Father, Like Son is a characteristically low-key but supple treatment of familial bonds, expectations and responsibilities that reverberates with heartrending impact. The age-old nature-vs.-nurture debate emerges naturally from a comparison between two very different families, but it’s the story’s intent focus on one father’s intimacy issues and redemptive transformation that makes the film so sublimely moving.
The film begins with a stiff, decorous school entrance interview, during which well-groomed 6-year-old Keita relates how his father, Ryota Nonomiya, taught him to fly a kite on a family camping trip. One finds out later that it was a lie drilled into the boy in preparation for the interview, and that Ryota is a driven architect who never spends time with his family. But the Nonomiyas’ lives are turned upside down when they learn that the hospital where [Ryota’s wife] Midori gave birth mistakenly switched infants, so Keita actually belongs to suburban appliance storeowners Yudai and Yukari Saiki Saiki, who have unwittingly raised the Nonomiyas’ son, Ryusei, as their own.
A conversation between Ryota and Yudai poses the film’s central question: Is parenthood defined by blood, or by the time that parent and child spend together? The ending offers an answer at once ambiguous and strangely reassuring.’ Variety
35MM, COLOUR, STEREO, 121 MINUTES, JAPAN, JAPANESE (ENGLISH SUBTITLES) / DIRECTOR/SCRIPT/EDITOR: HIROKAZU KOREEDA / CINEMATOGRAPHER: SHIN YASUI / PRODUCTION CO: AMUSE, FUJI TELEVISION NETWORK, GAGA / PRINT SOURCE/RIGHTS: RIALTO AUSTRALIA / SCREENING FORMAT: DCP