…..I mean, the way that child talked to his mother after his father’s death!!!!! Shouting and screaming at her and telling her he wished she was dead instead???!!!!! A child that is SO wrapped up in himself, so me-me-me ALL THE TIME, that he is oblivious to his mother’s grief, oblivious to her own need to come to terms with the death of a spouse, that he makes inexcusable demands on her, expecting her to have all the answers, with absolutely no awareness that she is only human too. Any parent worth their salt would have given that child a thick ear and sent it to bed without supper. But no, not a bit of it. Well, if parents will indulge their children, they get what they asked for…..
And then the dreadful way that child bossed and bullied other adults and, as I said, their own atrocious behaviour in both condoning and encouraging him. But they allowed this because the boy had all the Sympathy Cards in his hands: (a) being a child and ( b ) his father had just died.
Do film makers seriously expect ANYONE to actually LIKE such a brat, let alone watch 2 screen hours of him???!!!!! Clearly the answer is “yes”.
I am, in fact, referring to the film “Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close”. The boy’s, Oskar’s, relationship with his father WAS extremely close --- far too close for comfort, far too close to be healthy, if you ask me (which I know you are not!).
As if the behaviour of boy and adults wasn’t enough to make the viewer gag, one is subjected to even more of this sort of stuff, this “child worship” when the adult actors are interviewed and tell us that the child actor, a newcomer playing the main character in the film, could teach them a thing or two about life and acting etc, etc. Oh, p-lease!!!
A similar brat is encountered in the film The Road (based on Cormac McCarthy’s book). A father and his son are survivors in a post-apocalyptic world. They are walking the road to the coast where the father thinks there is a better chance of survival. This son, another screen brat, is just as self-absorbed and idiotic as Oskar. He is just as oblivious to the pressures on his surviving parent, his father, as Oskar is to his mother. The son in this film, however, is presented as being “compassionate” and “caring” and “kind”. In fact, he reminds me of children I encountered in teaching who were diagnosed as having “no sense of danger”. Talk about a candidate for the Darwin Awards --- his idiotic behaviour nearly gets both him and his father caught and captured by cannibals, who would imprison the pair in their “larder” to dismember alive and eat. Geez! And the son’s “kindness” is obsessive to the point that it puts so much pressure on his father who is having enough difficulty keeping them both alive that it does, finally, kill the father. But then again, the father, the “responsible adult” brings this end on himself. Like Oskar’s father he indulges and spoils his child, and suffers the consequences.
These father and son relationships as depicted on screen are insufferable. But there is an exception; a pleasant surprise; something less ga-ga. The Way (Martin Sheen, Emilio Estevez) a refreshing father and son story, by today’s standards rather more down-to-earth --- only this time it is the son who is the making of the father.
So, is the psychology convincing? Do you think these depictions of children/parent relationships are realistic? Do you advocate sparing the rod and spoiling the child or do you prefer teaching children self-discipline?
Edited by pantodragon, 22 July 2013 - 03:19 PM.