Fathers and Daughters

Fathers and Daughters

(M) Russell Crowe, Amanda Seyfried, Aaron Paul

 

Fathers and Daughters is one of those films where the title gives you an excellent idea of what the story is all about: a father, Jack (Russell Crowe), and his daughter Katie (played by Kylie Rogers as a child, and Amanda Seyfried as an adult). The director, Gabriele Muccino, is famous for the Pursuit of Happyness and Seven Pounds; both of those were gut-wrenching dramas. Muccino’s involvement with Fathers and Daughters, then, should give you an excellent idea of what kind of drama it is.

The plot revolves around the idea that a child’s upbringing and parents have a profound effect on their adult lives. It jumps between two stories and the first focuses upon Katie’s childhood in the late 1980s. There aren’t many happy moments: her mother dies in a car accident, her father develops debilitating seizures and depression (resulting in a 7-month admission to an institution), and she is caught in a messy custody battle between Jack and her aunt. The second story centres on grown-up Kate in the present day; she’s a psychology PhD student with deep issues when it comes to emotional attachment. As Muccino’s movie alternates between past and present, we see Jack struggling through his illness while Katie must deal with her past in order to create her own future.

Unfortunately, my high expectations for this film were let down quite dramatically. I was expecting a deep and emotional father-daughter tale, with some possible similarities to Crowe’s Oscar-winning A Beautiful Mind. Instead, I saw a film desperately trying to mimic the director’s previous works, but trying so hard it lost all ability to relate to the audience. The plot is messy due to it constantly moving back and forth in time, and was unable to latch onto the key idea and theme of the film — mental illness and its effect on those suffering from it (as well as upon those around them).Overall, Fathers and Daughters is so melodramatic that it seems to care more about trying to win an Oscar than actually telling the story of Katie and Jack.

That said, I have nothing but praise for young co-star Rogers and leading man Crowe, who still manages to command attention whenever he graces the screen. Together, the duo create a heart-warming representation of the unique relationship between a father and daughter who defy all odds and allow love to conquer all.

Despite the drama’s many downfalls, I would still give two hours out of my day, any day of the week, to see Crowe work his magic on screen. If it wasn’t for the flawed script that constrained his marvellous talent, this could have very well been his second Oscar-winning role.

 

Looking Deeper

What does the Bible say about depression and mental illness? Psalm 34:17-20

What does the bible say about unconditional love? 1 John 3:16

 

Toya Gattas

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