Like Father, Like Son – Film Review

Advance screening courtesy of Arrow Films and Eclipse Pictures in the Irish Film Institute.

A conservative Japanese couple have conflicting reactions to news that because of a mistake at the hospital where he was born their six year old son is not their biological child.

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Director Hirokazu Koreeda also wrote the screenplay for this very slow burning and at times emotionally agonising tale of the moral/parenting dilemma that two families face when they find out that they have not been raising their biological children.

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Thought the film is Japanese made it is not a story particular to Japan. It deals with two distinctly different types of parenting as portrayed by the two couples, one well off more traditional family with the husband working in a corporate job and the family living in a classy apartment versus a more liberal couple who struggle to run a hardware shop in a run-down area of the city. Their approach to raising their children could not be more different and this is heightened by the obviously opposite characters of both fathers.

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The choices made by the characters may differ from your own.  The consequences of these choices make the film intriguing and the story deals with issues of hereditary and parenting, leaving the audience wondering what they would do in the same situation.

The acting is excellent, especially the children who manage to steal most of the scenes where they feature.

The film is well made and deserved the accolade it picked up in Cannes, The Jury Prize.

It hardly needs to be said that fans of action films with the likes of  Vin Diesel or Bruce Willis etc.  saving the world should avoid.

7.5/10

Like Father, Like Son opens in Ireland on October 18th

Check your local Irish Cinema here

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