Frank Christian Wagner’s short tackles various subjects in multiple and mysterious ways, and the end leaves the viewer with more questions than answers. The story begins with a man telling his young daughter how everything started, how he and her mother had her, how life used to be, and how simple happiness was to achieve. Then, the problems came, and the man enrolled in the army in the Second World War. During this time, his wife struggled home with great danger, and that powerful problem seemed to be the root of all evil. One day, the man, Johann Friedrich, played by Christian Harting, stopped receiving mail from home, and that was a little bit strange. The whole story gets perspective from this point on and reveals the real main actor of this film.
While‘A Father’s Job’ may seem pretty vague, the method it uses makes the whole plot way more interesting. At first, it is hard to understand who Johann is talking about, and from that point on, the ‘other’ becomes the other man at the party, the one that is always in the spotlight. But he isn’t, and as the truth comes out, from what the short tells us, Wagner’s special actor is actually the alcohol – which can make you go crazy in the blink of an eye.
The whole construction around this topic is exquisite – not only does the viewer get other hints and follows different stories to uncover the truth, but the last resort comes with a sense of significant achievement. Alcohol is portrayed here as the devil, the ultimate demon that needs very little to get you hooked. As director Frank Christian Wagner shows us in the narrative, the road from one glass to eternal damnation is pretty short and mischievous. Christian Harting plays a significant role, covering a wide and strange field in a somewhat cyclical way – the dialogue repeats itself from time to time, giving the short a whole new meaning.
‘A Father’s Job’ is very much like a quiz game that hides all the answers between the lines; you only have to be careful enough to see them.
Review written by Vlad A.G