I know the idea of making a film about a son who is trying to kill his father is odd and a bit disturbing to some. I have received many raised eyebrows and wary expressions from friends, classmates, collaborators and professors after giving them my one to two sentence summary of the movie. I too, at times, have felt the uncomfortable feeling of making this story; yet, over the time I have spent working on this project it has become less a “cool idea” or a requirement for class, but rather, a personal project.
The story originally germinated a few years back after coming across a little snippet I read about how acclaimed film director Jean-Luc Godard made his first short movie with the help of a small inheritance from his stepfather. This little bit of interesting internet factoid set off my imagination and I began to think “What if someone was so driven in getting what they wanted that they would do the unthinkable and kill their own father to achieve that goal?” I began conceiving the film as a pulpy, suspenseful crime drama in the vein of some of my favorite films like Strangers on a Train and Fargo.
However, as I started getting deeper and deeper into the project, I realized that what really mattered to me was not the actual crime but the relationship of the father and son. The writing and constant rewriting of the script has, at times, been emotionally grueling. Slowly, I realized I put a lot of myself, both my parents, and our relationship into the story. I saw scenes that were either direct lifts of moments between my father and mother or heavily inspired by them. Ironically, developing a movie about a son slowly poisoning his father to death has allowed me to understand my parents better. I put myself in their shoes and began to grasp their positions better than I ever did before. Furthermore, the writing of this story has led me to examine myself and what kind of son I have been.
To me, this movie isn't about a crime. It is really about parent-child relationships. It is about those moments when a child realizes that he/she acts in the exact same way that his/her mother or father does. And, it is about that strange time when you’ve grown up and are no longer under the supervision of your parents and, for the first time, can objectively see them as human beings and people. These emotions, ideas and themes are what have been stuck in my head for a long time. They are what I have personally experienced. And, they are what I want to explore and express in this film.