Hugh Jackman, (“Peter”) is a worthwhile reason to view “The Son”; struggling from a major iron deficiency, an anemic plot, whose nucleus is a wrestling, divorced father, unequipped to aid a chronically, cumbrous, depressed teenager, “Nicholas” (Zen McGrath); a prequel to “The Father” erases all the sublimity, formability invested in a film anchored by Anthony Hopkins (his role in “The Son” is minimalized but percolates with potency). Peter with a new baby and partner, “Beth” (depicted with calculated finesse by Vanessa Kirby); chaos and tumult swamps the scenario when Peter’s ex-wife “Kate” (Laura Dern tries, but succumbs to predictability) dumps miserable, melancholy Nicholas at Peter and Beth’s domicile.
Director Florian Zeller (“The Father”) flirts with, but never achieves eminence; family dynamics dominate, where the focus should have been on Nicholas’s untoward, unanalyzed behavior. One poignant, serendipitous, musically appropriate, dance sequence between Peter, Beth and Nicholas portends a positive breakthrough, but precipitously sinks into the shadows.
Contemporary teens and their dire solutions to marginalization, diminishment, bullying, loneliness are a pervasive theme slithering in today’s society. If for no other rational, the epidemic of self-harm and its appalling consequences is grounds to visit “The Son”.