The Only Son ★★★½

Sort of an inverse of the Tokyo Story narrative where an old family member comes to the big city. In this one, the mother finds out that her son still very much cares for her and loves her dearly, but his employment has not proven successful. Although I found the prologue somewhat awkward, the film would not work without it—it sets up that the son is the only who desires this education and is full of ambition, so to see him giving up on his goals is where the mother’s disappointment originates. Employs a cheap plot point to lead to a narrative resolution, but the scenes that follow are the stuff of touching melodrama. Screening companion Victor Morton argued that the resolution made between the two forces is meant to be ironic…I don’t really see that. It’s clear that even though the mother is disappointed in his current position, she learns he is a good man in other ways, and he mentions to his wife that he will go back for training.

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