Father’s Chair
By Brendan Cheney With on January 26, 2012

Father's Chair tells the story of a workaholic father who has been far too distant for far too long and finds himself about to be divorced and at odds with his teenage son. The son decides to run away, prompted by the mysterious arrival of a chair from his estranged grandfather. Theo (the father) is infuriated that his dad would send a gift when he was so distant from Theo's life. This creates a mirror that gradually becomes wiped clean so that Theo can see that he has done the same to his own son; he has not been there enough and has communicated a lack of care. Because this film is about Theo's self-discovery, it's ripe with the theme of redemption. By far the most poignant scene comes while Theo is on the road searching for his son Pedro and he comes across a pregnant girl who has seen the boy. She goes into labor and being a doctor, Theo delivers the child by a river. This is a profound moment where Theo seemingly forgets the search for his son and shows compassion. With the baby safe, he kneels by the riverside and strips before entering the water. He dunks himself and rises slowly before floating. This imagery of birth and rebirth create the pivotal moment of change within Theo. He shows a change that indicates he wants to avoid the mistakes of his own father. While the culmination of the film is beautiful and well done, I found it to be a slow and fairly uninteresting film. It comes across as trying too hard and forcing its point. The pivotal scene of rebirth is fitting for the movie, but a bit heavy handed. The movie had zero subtlety and was often overacted. At many points I sat there wondering why almost everyone Theo came across was suspicious of his intentions and unwilling to help him find his son. The movie felt unrealistic and false. All in all, skip this one and watch Return of the Jedi…it has a much better father/son reconciliation.

About the Author: Brendan Cheney
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