A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Your Son is a 2018 Spanish movie in which a father attempts to take the law into his own hands after a violent beating outside a nightclub leaves his son in a coma. There's an extended rape scene in which an ex-boyfriend rapes a woman in his car while his friend encourages it and records the act on his smartphone. A man is violently beaten by several men outside of a nightclub, shown getting punched and kicked until he's knocked unconscious, then stomped in the face several times by one of the perpetrators. A man stabs another man in the neck inside the bathroom stall of a nightclub, killing the man. A man in a car hits another man riding a motorcycle, causing him to crash and suffer injuries. A man strikes another man repeatedly on the arm and hand with the sharp end of a hammer. Cocaine is used in one scene, and there's cigarette smoking throughout. Some profanity is heard, including "f--k" and a homosexual slur.
What's the story?
In YOUR SON, Jaíme (Jose Coronado) is a surgeon with a wife and two kids, including his adult son, Marco, with whom he shares a close relationship. One night while at work, he learns that Marco is in the ER, unconscious and badly beaten. The police have footage of Marco leaving a nightclub, but nothing else to go on except some rumors that he was attacked by several men for no apparent reason. Jaíme confronts one of Marco's friends who was seen that night at the nightclub with Marco, who tells Jaíme that one of the attackers had dyed white hair and recorded the attack as it happened on his smartphone, but won't say anything more because he fears retribution. From this, Jaíme tries taking the law into his own hands, leaving his house at all hours of the night to stalk the man with the dyed white hair. As Jaíme's vigilante activities increase, his wife, his daughter, his co-workers, and the police begin to question his sanity. As Jaíme begins to discover the identity of those who attacked Marco, he must confront an even more shocking truth about what exactly happened on the night of Marco's assault.
Is it any good?
This is a taut and riveting thriller that takes several astonishing twists and turns. What initially seems like a "vigilante justice" movie, with the heroes and villains clearly delineated, becomes a lot more complicated. As Jaíme, a surgeon in late middle-age who struggles with moral ambiguity and the lines between respect for the law, a father's love, and toxic masculine concepts of honor and retribution, Jose Coronado turns in an astonishing performance of a man who elicits sympathy, concern, and contempt from the audience over the course of the movie.
There are moments in Your Son when there's so much suspense, the passage of time in the moments of tremendous action begins to feel almost unbearable. For instance, there's a scene in which a club owner enters Jaíme's car on a dark side street. The two face each other, stare each other down. The tension is so thick in that moment of not knowing exactly how it's going to go down, and the actors and filmmakers stretch that pause to the absolute limit before the shocking payoff. And this is just one of many similar moments. Overall, this is a dark suspense thriller that challenges conventions and viewers' understanding of sympathetic and unsympathetic characters. It's excellent but it isn't for kids.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about "vigilante justice" movies. How does Your Son compare to other movies in which someone tries to take the law into their own hands when they believe that justice hasn't been served?
How does the movie use sympathetic characters to create empathy and identification? How are these characters used for purposes of suspense and plot twists in the story?
How did the violence affect your feelings for the characters as the movie progressed?
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