‘A Son’ Explores Ache, Guilt and Angst of a Couple Dealing with Tragedy

A very long time in the past, the American grasp of the macabre, Alfred Hitchcock, quipped {that a} film have to be solely so long as one can maintain one’s bladder. And Mehdi M Barsaoui’s debut characteristic, A Son – which was a part of the continuing Mumbai Movie Competition – is a crisp 96 minutes lengthy, and talks a couple of household in turmoil.

A Son occurs within the balmy days of Tunisian summer season of 2011. It has simply been six months because the Jasmine Revolution and the autumn of President Ben Ali, however simply earlier than the demise of Libyan chief Muammar Gadaffi.

Barsaoui zooms in on a household picnic in southern Tunisia that turns right into a horrible tragedy. Effectively-educated Fares (Sami Bouajila), his spouse, Meriem (Najla Ben Abdallah), and their 11-year-old son, Aziz (Youssef Khemiri), are out for a day with buddies. The get together on the scenic Tataouine within the southeast (which was George Lucas’ inspiration for the title of Skywalker’s house planet, Tatooine), is all merriment and meals and wine. The enjoyable over, the three drive again house, however on the way in which, Islamist rebels assault Fares’ automotive, and though he manages to make a u-turn and velocity away, a bullet pierces the frail little boy. His liver goes for a toss, and on the hospital, the physician tells the couple that Aziz would want a liver transplant. The dad and mom are requested to get examined in order that one in every of them could donate part of his or her liver. What the checks reveal threaten to interrupt a household that was deliriously joyful simply hours in the past, driving a wedge between the husband and spouse. A darkish secret tumbles out of the cabinet threatening to damage a relationship past perception.

Barsaoui works out the twists and turns with marvellous brilliance, narrating the ups and downs of the couple’s angst at one degree and anger at one other with lucidity. And in a means, that stored me enraptured and engrossed.

A Son has an unforgettable ending, and performances which can be nothing wanting good. If Sami conveys his disappointment, ache and wounded delight in an awfully managed means, Najla portrays guilt and sorrow with delicate ease and fortitude. Powerfully penned and directed with finesse, A Son is all of the extra memorable because it additionally takes us into the seedy world of organ commerce – and the way this pushes folks in dire medical emergencies to resort to probably the most scandalous, probably the most illegal of actions. With minimal background rating – which heightens the impact of silence and the anguish the dad and mom must undergo – and a digicam that probes with out being intrusive, the film seems to be a winner. A piece that will likely be remembered lengthy after the Competition has drawn its curtains.

(Writer, commentator and film critic Gautaman Bhaskaran is protecting the Mumbai Movie Competition)

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