The Father

The Father ★★★★½

I can comfortably say that I have spent a majority of my adult life fearing decay. The human experience rotting you from the inside out is an innate horror instilled in all of us. If we are lucky enough in this life to live long lives, we will eventually see death. We will experience death in a multitude of ways. It could the death of the first family pet, your grandparents, or even your friends; in the end, the common thread of life is the experience of death. Though I am not the first to write about this, nor will I be the last. The commonality of death becomes banal to human connection. We know of death yes; we talk about it and it has imprinted us, yet the concern in the conscious mind subsides as we ourselves get older. It isn't until you experience death again that you’re pressured to remember that there is a ticking clock and it never stops. For every second we exist, we are living in defiance of the grave. With a film like The Father it props up a craven corrosive worry of mine is that the death of the psyche. To know you are alive, to know you exist, but to have the personality traits desiccate over what feels like a lifetime is something I don’t know if I have the trenchant energy for. So why watch a film designed to make me feel anxious at all turns? Because the point of art, especially gilt-edged art, is that it will make you inevitably feel something beyond the innocuous feeling of good or bad, rather something abstruse. In pursuit of an intangible object like this, I found this film resonating with me. It forced me to reconcile with the inevitability of death. I found the horror palpable from the performances of Olivia Coleman and Anthony Hopkins, who carry the weight of the film firmly on their shoulders. While Hopkins is very much alive on the surface, his mental state is weakening. Days turn into weeks and weeks into months, all in a few days. Losing time like that caused me to panic. How many times have the days passed me by without me remembering which days were which? While what I have experienced is non-comparable, the faint feeling smoked over me. I could see it, smell it, but it was dim enough that I couldn’t get the complete picture, just the resounding burden of fear.

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