Movie Review by Neils Hesse
Starring: Ricardo Darin, Hector Alterio, Norma Aleandro, Natalia Verbeke, Eduardo Blanco
Director: Juan Jose Campanella
Rafael Belvedere (Ricardo Darin) is a man in his forties running a restaurant formerly managed by his father Nino (Hector Alterio) and mother Norma (Norma Aleandro). Rafael is divorced with a daughter who he sees once a week and he has a young girlfriend Naty (Natalia Verbeke). As a young boy Rafael had many dreams, he used to dress up as Zorro with his friend Juan Carlos (Eduardo Blanco) and get into fights with his mother always coming to their rescue. Norma always wanted more for Rafael but alas he never ended up doing what she wanted him to do.
Currently Rafael has reached a critical point in his life with some major decisions to make. He faces a lot of problems at his restaurant, which the competition has noticed as well as its potential and so they offer to buy it from him. On top of this his mother suffers from Alzheimer’s disease and Rafael has never had the chance to show her what he has achieved with the restaurant. He is also having difficulty in committing himself to Naty because he feels that he has to sort these issues in his life out first.
Despite Norma’s condition Nino remains eternally devoted to her and after 44 years together he decides that he wants to marry her properly in church. Then unexpectedly Juan Carlos shows up after a gap of many years to visit Rafael. With Rafael on the verge of deciding whether to sell the family business, confront his mother and commit himself to Naty, Juan helps him come to a decision on which is the right path for his future and encourages Rafael to think positively – that he does have some worth in the world.
When Rafael suddenly collapses at his flat and is admitted to hospital he begins to look at things in a different light. This health-scare incident makes him act quickly on his future, which brings about some surprising results.
Ricardo Darin is excellent and skilfully handles the anger, sorrow and uncertainty his character faces. Hector Alterio plays the eternally faithful husband perfectly portraying a man with undying, unfaltering love while Norma Aleandro portrays the ill but dedicated mother/wife spot on. The supporting cast all give decent performances especially – Eduardo Blanco who adds a nice touch of humour and passion to his character and Natalia Verbeke is very good as the woman who gives her all only to receive shreds of emotion in return.
The direction from Juan Jose Campanella is adequate. He sticks close to the main thrust of the story whilst still emphasising the importance of the participating characters. It’s a pity the script didn’t allowed a bit more character development for the central character though.
On the whole SON OF THE BRIDE is a very good film portraying some good lessons on life