Tragedies like this are, sadly, too common in real life. It’s present in schools, hospitals, colleges and on the street: children tend to copy onto others the things they have learned and the behaviours the observed adults have around them. It does not matter whether we do our best or not. For many, it’s very difficult to take the right path after being witness to so much conflict, suffering and pain (personal and shared). This is one of the maladies of modern city life for a long time now. How do we get kids to stop mimicking the abuse they suffered when they were young? Like Father, Like Son focuses on the consequences of this conduct once the victim becomes an adult.
The tape indicating a crime scene and the overall heavy atmosphere, with the invasive radio sounds and extremely dim lighting immediately suggest a noir setting, one that has been getting a lot of attention in cinema this year, also taking into account the neo-noir, it’s most recent sub-genre. In spite of this, the plot is almost entirely a drama that takes into account the urban life problems described on the first paragraph. We have failed as a society, for until now no solution to this problem has been found, allowing dangerous behaviour to move ahead in time and creating miserable lives for the children of the future. Like Father, Like Son is a cautionary tale, disguised as a regular drama. Its teachings are hard to apply, but easy to find and agree with. Maybe in a small scale (household scale, neighbourhood block scale) it will open the eyes of many and help make childhood a better experience for those still going through it.
The care with which the script was put together is evident, leaving the spectator in the dark for just the right amount of time, in order to create one of the most well edited and produced twists in this Festival’s current season. The detective show-inspired edition made it a great bit and ensures a gasp from anyone watching the short. It’s an amazing visual resource that was included in the right moment and not overused, a common mistake for first-time filmmakers.
The actors, despite the awful story they were immersed in, managed to communicate their pain, worry and the love their characters have for each other (even after all they have been through). Even in such a small space (a limiting facet of film sets that theater actors are not used to), they managed to create believable characters and situations work according to the plot. It’s not easy to get into the skin of subjects so tormented and sad, but their performances compliment the script in a way that makes them virtually real, highlighting the fact that anybody can be part of that particular hell from which everyone should escape as soon as they notice.
It’s too early in Race Matías’ career to tell what his future will be, but after only one year of film studies, this is an important experience on the path of a promising filmmaker.