March 15, 2013

The Other Son (2012)

The Other Son (2012)
Directed by: Lorraine Levy
Country: France

Review: “The Other Son” is based on the widely used theme of babies switched at birth, with the particularity of involving Israeli and Palestinian families. So, as you can imagine, all the conditions were gathered to create an appealing family drama aggravated by the West Bank conflict. However, the result was not satisfactory. The story begins when 18 year-old Joseph is submitted to routine tests in order to serve the Israeli army as his father. Surprisingly, the tests revealed that his type of blood didn’t match any of his parents, and consequently, he wasn't their biological son. The Haifa hospital, where he was born, starts an investigation to conclude that Joseph was accidentally switched with Yacine, a Palestinian boy, who was placed in the incubator on the same day. The families end up agreeing to meet, not without some apprehension. Thereafter, each of the boys will develop a natural curiosity regarding their biological families. Good intentions aside, I found the plot totally unconvincing and forced. The tolerance and tension among the characters seemed inauthentic in its attempt to give the story a cool angle. All was arranged to look neat and profound, but the plan was thwarted by Levy's lack of vision. "The Other Son" feels contrived and never became thought-provoking as intended.

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