‘The Father’ is a 2020 masterpiece, Directed and Co-written by Florian Zeller based on his 2012 play Le Pere. This is his directorial debut and without a doubt, he has proved to be a gem in Hollywood. Winning several awards like the Golden Globe, British Academy Award, Academy Award, this movie has surely excelled all its expectations. The movie introduces us to the family of a person suffering from dementia, and their hardships.
The story is seen through the eyes of an extremely old man named Anthony, played by Sir Anthony Hopkins who from dementia. The location and placement of objects keep on changing, channeling the inner fear of losing our minds. Anne, Anthony’s daughter, played by Olivia Colman is a middle-aged woman, who has her own problems, needs, and expectations from life. Sabotaging her own dreams, Anne shifts with Anthony to take care of her aging and ailing father.
One of the major plot points is Anthony’s wristwatch. The watch depicts the limited time Antony has, and how he suffers to keep track of his time due to his loss of memory. Anthony is often seen complaining that people are trying to ‘steal or hide his watch’, as in taking his sanity away from him. Anthony also denies accepting that he is ill and needs help. Many caretakers are shooed away by his forever fluctuating behavior. The storyline is not linear; it keeps on traveling back and forth in time, portraying how a person suffering from dementia actually feels.
Anne can’t help but imagine the life she could have had if her father was shifted to a nursing home. Anthony often refers to Lucy (his other daughter, who died in an accident) as his favorite over Anne. Anne is often held back by her father, which is one of the reasons her romantic relationships don’t work. In one of the scenes Anne tries to suffocate her father, it could be either Anthony’s nightmare that his daughter might kill him or Anne’s darkest desire to get rid of her father. The truth is open to interpretation.
Finally, Anne decides to transfer her father to a nursing home, and persuade her lover in Paris. In the movie’s final scenes, Anthony says that he is ‘losing his leaves’, where the leaves symbolize the circle of life and youth. Anthony understands that he is losing his sanity and inching towards death. The nurse reassures that it’s still sunny outside, and they must take chance before it’s too late symbolizing to live his remaining part of life.
This movie is a true masterpiece, changing one’s perspective on how we see life. The little things we take for granted today might end up making us crave for them in the future. The father-daughter relationship is truly one of its kind, it definitely makes you rethink about your own family and your life decisions from that very moment.