Sunday, September 26, 2010

Thoughts on Father and Son (Otets i syn)

(again, Blogger is a filthy whore, here's a link to the poster:

-A father (Andrej Shetinin) and his son Alexei (Alexei Nejmyshev) live together on a rooftop apartment. Alexei attends military school in his father's footsteps, about to leave for training, while the father is offered a job in another city. Both inhabit a private world, full of memories and rituals, and both emotionally attached to each other.

-It seems the main talking point of this movie is the perceived homoeroticism between the two characters. So going in, I expected nakid wrestling or something. But no. I can see how the relationship between father and son could be seen as incestual, but it never really struck me as such. They both are topless most of the time, yes, but it looks more like they're trying to one-up eachother. They hug a lot, whisper to one another, but it never felt sexual, to me, anyway, more like a very strong familial love. And, besides, Russian people could just be very touchey. I don't know.

-The plot, you understand, is nearly non-existent. Besides the loose time frame of the son preparing to ship off to training, nothing goes on. Some fighting, some...what appears to be negotiating, of whether they really do love each other, something like that. Dreams and flashbacks intermingle, until you can't tell them apart. References to the son and the father's role in crucifixtion are scattered throughout. The intensity of the core relationship either stays the same, or quietly elevates. But there really is nothing going on.

-Maybe if I had seen Mother and Son, I'd be able to appreciate this more. Alas.