Your Son wraps grief and the thirst for revenge in a well-woven narrative surrounding a father’s undying love for his son.
I think the most telling aspect of Your Son is its scope to measure grief. Director Miguel Ángel Vivas levels the story purely from a father’s perspective, and the result of that is an immersive, atmospheric journey. Netflix has chosen well to add the Spanish film to their international scene; it’s surprisingly thought-provoking.
Before tragedy strikes, the way Your Son is directed is essential to the story. Jaime Jiménez, a family man and a surgeon, is a character that is arm’s length with those close to him. There’s an underlying sadness that slices off him that is instilled by a highly emotional performance from Jose Coronado and purposefully demonstrated by precise camera work in a way that blurs those around him. The picture only focuses on Jaime and his surroundings more clearly when he is aware of his environment and the person he is conversing with.
And when tragedy does strike, and he learns that his son has been part of a horrific attack by other teenagers, leaving him in a coma, he becomes more disconnected from the world, and the world chooses to disconnect from him. Your Son delves into a father’s stubborn love for a son, and the story magnifies how the appalling event consumes him with blind revenge. Your Son presents a character choosing not to grieve, and instead suppresses it to find out answers.
As a parent, the story is relatable. Hell, if a group of teenagers brutally attacked my son at a night club, I do not think I’d sit around waiting for the police to review their paperwork and get moving. Every vein and muscle fibre in my body would be desperate to be my son’s private investigator. But as an outsider, it’s easy to feel neutral, and Your Son is proposed in such a way that you are screaming at the screen, demanding that he spends time with his grieving family, and be the father, rather than a vindictive lunatic. As the story progresses, you feel sorry for Jaime Jiménez as his search for the truth leads him down spiralling black holes.
What you will learn from Your Son is a wonderfully directed dark narrative about the pitfalls of a parent’s love; heart over mind and the thirst for revenge. If there’s one movie you can watch on March 1st, on a busy Netflix day, it’s this little gem.