A character-oriented vengeance story from Spain.
This is a Spanish-French production (original title: Tu Hijo), directed by Miguel Ángel Vivas and starring one of the best contemporary Spanish actors, Jose Coronado, whose performance as the protagonist, Jaime, is truly riveting. Jaime is a middle-aged surgeon, married with two kids, Markos (Pol Monen) and Sara (Asia Ortega). When Markos gets seriously injured after a nasty fight outside a nightclub in Seville, Jaime will have to face his worst nightmare, as his own son is now in a coma. So he decides to find the person responsible and avenge his offspring.
The protagonist embarks on a lonely as well as highly dangerous plan as in order to locate the persons who brutally beat up his son, he will have to jump into an unknown world where there are no rules and his own safety is less than guaranteed. Nevertheless, his single-minded determination proves to be the best asset to complete his mission. There is a great scene in which Jaime parks his car near the club in which his son spent some time before getting attacked and there is a bunch of youngsters who begin to tease him calling him a pervert and a homosexual. Jaime's tightened face expresses all the hate and the hopelessness he must be feeling.
This is the basic premise of the story, and it certainly is not one that we, as viewers, haven't already encountered numerous times in films of the genre. The difference is that Tu Hijo is, above all, a study of the protagonist's character, concentrating on his feelings and emotional reactions rather than relying on the strength of its script and plotting. Coronado combines intensity with subtlety and is compelling in his portrayal of a shattered man, determined to get revenge for his son's current predicament. The director chooses to do many close shots to Coronado's face which reflect the wide range of Jaime's conflicted feelings, ranging from pure rage to the sense of helplessness and despair while displaying the actor's skills.
The cinematography is subdued with the prominent use of black and yellow, further manifesting the disturbed inner world of the protagonist. In the majority of the film's shots, we watch Jaime on his own, either driving or smoking the odd cigarette, hell-bent on his decision to exact revenge by the punks who nearly murdered his boy. The dialogue is limited to the absolute essentials and Jaime's interactions throughout the film are mostly confrontational in his quest to locate and punish the individuals who caused him so much pain. There is a total communication breakdown in Jaime's house after the incident as he seems not to be interested to keep his family together and in one scene his daughter tells him that she is worried about him as she never sees him crying for Marco.
Of course, the above facts do not imply that Your Son is a boring film with a weak plot. On the contrary, I that it has a compelling plot which unfolds in a slow -though effective- tempo and leaves no loose ends. The story reaches its climax in the final ten minutes of the running time and the finale comes as a surprise to the viewer who definitely expects another decision made from the protagonist. Personally, I think it was a great, thought-provoking ending which suited perfectly the film's mood and tone. Your Son is a movie that you will think about for days after watching as it raises valid questions regarding justice, vigilantism and the meaning of familial obligation.
Join the discussion