The Father

What an absolutely astounding film. With a stellar cast.
This film, about a man, Anthony Hopkins, as he goes through dementia. What makes this film so amazing, is that you go through it with him.
Originally based on a French play, you get that flavour. With the limited scenery. And I feel that that absolutely lends itself to the film. When rooms change, you feel the confusion and unfamiliarity. Yet, still feel something familiar.
Earlier this month, I watched the Colin Firth, Stanley Tucci film Supernova, also a film about a man going through dementia. What Supernova did was pull at the heartstrings for those who are left behind, lost in the deteriorating mind while still standing right there. The Father brings you into the very fear of the person experiencing the dementia.
I have always had a tender spot for dementia and alzheimers, knowing that it is in my family. I have always empathized with those moments when one opens their eyes and have no idea what they are seeing.
When I was 10, I remember my aunt and uncle went to visit my grandparents in england. My grandad had been diagnosed with alzheimers, and I recall my uncle recounting to us my grandad walking into the kitchen and yelling because he didn’t know who my uncle was. I was terrified, if he couldn’t recognize my uncle, who had been married to his daughter for years, how would he ever know me, who he had only met a handful of times?
This film is a nugget that one might easily overlook, but for the mental health field, and for anyone, absolutely anyone who has a mother, a father, a grandparent, that they love and care for, this film will open your eyes to the struggles that will, without a doubt, come. But one has to remember that they are still the person you love.
When my grandad walked into the kitchen I braced myself. He took one look at me and said, “well hello there my little love.”

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