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Updated: December 13, 2013 18:12 IST

Now showing

Harsh Vardhan
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Like Father, Like Son to be screened at 2 p.m. today

The inaugural function of the 11th Chennai International Film Festival concluded with the screening of Hirokazu Koreeda’s Like Father, Like Son.

The film which won the jury prize at Cannes tells the age-old tale of two babies accidentally swapped at birth, raised in vastly different families. Ryoto is a workaholic disciplinarian who sees his son as a reflection of himself and pushes him hard to win and succeed. He finds his six-year-old son’s inherent kindness a weakness and resents his apparent slowness. Ryoto’s metronomic domestic life is thrown into turmoil when the hospital admits its mistake and Ryoto realises he has another son, a biological son, forcing him to make the difficult decision of choosing one over the other. Ultimately the choice Ryoto makes leads him to question the meaning of fatherhood and whether he has been a good father all these years.

Koreeda, in typical fashion, films his subjects unhurriedly and unobtrusively, managing to wring wonderfully instinctive and natural performances even from the child actors. And although the film explores a number of issues such as the class divide (both social and economic) and the differences between mothers and fathers, it is ultimately a compelling, carefully constructed argument for nurture over Nature. Interestingly, Spielberg has acquired the rights for an English language remake after the film caught his eye at Cannes.

(The film will be screened at Casino Theatre)

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