TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘Your Mother’s Son’

Posted in TIFF 2023 by - September 16, 2023
TIFF 2023: Our Review of ‘Your Mother’s Son’

There are many reasons to or not to feel empathy even for the most amoral characters. But before I write about whether or not I do, or whether or not I the movie in which they inhabit, let’s first talk about said characters. Emman (Kokoy de Jesus) is the default antihero in Jun Robles Lana’s Your Mother’s Son. After losing his job, he should look for another one, but instead, he sneaks out of his mother Sarah’s (Sue Prado) house outside Manila. What he does is do drugs and have sex with the lady (Elora Espano) who works for Sarah’s delivery service. That lady is oblivious about one thing. Emman and Sara aren’t son and mother but are actually lovers running away from shame.

Now, let’s get to the part as to whether or not Emman is worth the viewers’ empathy. That empathy has nothing to do with whether or not he’s a good person. One can file Your Mother’s Son as part of the ‘fuckboy becomes high functioning under duress’ subgenre, a subgenre I like. But here’s how those movies work. As per the long description, when the lightbulb turns on top of the fuckboy’s head is when the film starts rolling. It doesn’t. I understand that Emma’s statis is part of the political commentary about Filipino complacency. But I don’t agree with that political commentary. Spoiler alert, and at the risk of being repetitive, Chekhov’s knife appears too many times before Emman goes to grab it.

ph. TIFF

This post was written by
While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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