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FILM REVIEW: Son & Father

21 May 2019

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FILM REVIEW: Son & Father

Yu Yi-lap, an aspiring musician, and his father are both estranged from each other. Not knowing what the other dreams of, their relationship faces a boiling point – until an accident swaps their two bodies. Now forced to adapt to each other’s lives, both father and son begin to learn things about each other that they never knew before.

Director: Wong Ka Ho
Year: 2017
Cast: Kaho Kung, Ko Hon Man
Language: Cantonese
Runtime: 18min


Review by Jean Wong

Parent-child communication is always tricky, and our protagonists in Son & Father are no exception. The film teaches the meaning of empathy in an intriguing manner by subverting the father and son dynamic in a body swap tale.

Though the body swap genre is not new to the screen, Son & Father manages to steadily hold our attention throughout by occasionally injecting humour. What seems like a simple and straightforward story at first unravels to show us a more complicated side of Yi-lap’s (Kaho Kung) relationship with his father (Ko Hon Man).

With impressive acting by Kaho Kung and Ko Hon Man, Son & Father is an engaging story with equally engaging characters to watch for. They are able to adapt and play both the parent and the child figure in an effortless manner. Despite juggling between two roles, it’s easy to tell which role each actor is slipping in and out of. Though director Wong Ka Ho chooses to interchange actors even while filming the same character, it is clear based on their mannerisms that are typical of a youngster and middle-aged man which character they are playing.

Despite the strange turn of events that causes the two to swap bodies, both Yi-lap and his father are forced to work together to solve a common issue. Anyone who’s been a child before (aka everyone) would be able to relate to the cringiness of these scenes. Yet, seeing the two try to smooth over the hiccups in their relationship is ultimately a rewarding experience.

Son & Father is definitely a film to watch out for with its quirky and heartening plot. The literal embodiment of putting yourself in someone else’s shoes is done beautifully with a powerful underlying principle. It’s a great nudge for us to look upon our own relationship with our parents (or children) and perhaps seek to change things for the better.

Contemplative empath who sees wonder in the curious world. Has a habit of hiding behind books and occasionally dabbles in games, Netflix and YouTube. Is permanently attached to bubble tea.