‘Your Son’ [‘Tu Hijo’]: A Father’s Love Leads To Violence In This Gritty Psychological Thriller [Review]

The Playlist | 3/19/2019 | Caroline Tsai
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Jaime Jiménez (Jose Coronado) lives an everyman nightmare: A middle-aged surgeon in Sevilla, he drives numbly through rainy streets, with the backdrop of radio presenters murmuring about unemployment and economic dissatisfaction. Jaime is constantly shut out of his daughter Sara’s life (Asia Ortega). Meanwhile, his wife, Carmen (Ana Wagener) is barely a presence in his life. The only tether to the real world is Jaime’s beloved son, Marcos (Pol Monen), a high school-aged runner and his father’s jogging partner, who is, in every way, the golden boy. So when Jaime discovers his son, lying comatose and beaten within an inch of his life, he privately vows to track down the assailants and learn what really transpired that night. What follows in the film “Your Son” is a grisly mission that wreaks havoc on his psychology and leads to the destruction of his family’s well-being.

Yet the “Taken”-esque poetic justice at the core of “Your Son” (“Tu Hijo”) is not quite a simple morality fable, as director Miguel Ángel Vivas teases out the circumstances of Marcos’ assault. Why, for example, do Marcos’ friend Pedro (Marco H. Medina) and his girlfriend Andrea (Ester Expósito) supply conflicting narratives of the evening? Why does the gritty surveillance footage, through which Vivas revisits harrowing scenes of the night, omit the attack itself? As Jaime combs through every resource and tracks down witnesses, his mission quickly veers from detective story to revenge plot. Soon, his son’s blood is not the only one spilled, as the case dirties Jaime’s hands, too.

Vivas - Knack - Tension - Suspense - Revving

Vivas displays a knack for noir-like tension, ramping up suspense like a constant revving engine. The filmmaker’s long takes follow Jaime down hallways and through darkened streets, caught in the torrent of his own grief, as his vigilante justice mission takes him into the seedy underbelly. One long...
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