Parents have an infinite amount of fears when raising their children in the modern-day world. And who can blame them? This place is a mess! But to be fair, some places are messier than others. For example, uh, how about the Middle East?
Based on the above references/opinions, the perfect storm occurs in the French flick, The Other Son. Two boys, both at 18 years of age, find out they were switched at birth during the first Gulf War back in 1992. And to compound the already sensitive matter, their respective families share two very different religious and political views; as one is Palestinian (Arabs) and the other Israeli (Jews).
The script addresses the crux early on, and the two families eventually meet in awkward fashion. While it touches upon the political climate at choice points, the relationship between the two sons, and how they mingle with their new found “extended” family, is what dominates the rest of the story.
Now at this junction – of the movie, and this review – one may expect some gripping and emotional sequences to be on display. And there are some. Yet the delivery of them is so bland when factoring in the thematic situations. There’s not set of rules regarding if this has to lean towards encompassing good or bad drama. But you do need some drama in order to engross the viewer; because if you don’t, this 105 minute screenplay will/gets dry. Old history professor dry!
What keeps this moderately flowing is the solid acting by the entire cast. Even with the jagged screenplay, each performer is on-point within their actions in this semi-touching tale; which is a mixture of a coming-of-age piece articulated using the backdrop of a tireless political conundrum. And once again, while this should be compelling on some levels, the dabbling nature and lack of true focus of the screenplay and development of the characters, hampers the intrigue of where this is headed. Plus, the filmmakers didn’t do a stellar job in projecting out the physical environment both families have to navigate through at the present time.
And for those that hate reading during a movie, a variety of French and Arabic is spoken, so you will be dealing with subtitles. There are some English speaking segments, though.
Overall, The Other Son initially captures your interest but the story woven via the perspective of the two vastly different boys just doesn’t enlighten on the subject matter the opening presents.
The Other Son is rated PG-13 and opens at the Tampa Theatre on Friday.