Notes for my Son is a family drama movie written and directed by Carlos Sorin and starring Valeria Bertuccelli, Esteban Lamothe, Paola Barrientos and Valeria Bertuccelli, alongside other cast members.
Notes for my Son is a painful yet celebratory look at the life of Maria Vasquez. All available options to make her better have run out, and she, thus, decides to write a book on her musing about life and love for her four-year-old son Tomy. The idea behind this is, as Tomy grows old, he will have his mother with him in a small way. It’s a way to keep the two of them tied together, years after Maria is no more.
This is, no doubt, a painful film which is acted with a lot of heart and depth. Notes for my Son is more heartbreaking because it is based on a true story of a woman who died in 2015 and left behind a funny and heartbreaking note for her loved ones, especially her son. Apart from the letter, cancer-stricken Heather McManamy also wrote several cards for her daughter to read on different milestones in her life.
The story is, of course, heartbreaking. But there’s an air of celebration to it as well. Maria is in a lot of pain, and there’s no permanent remedy for it. The doctors have said that all they can do is make her last days more comfortable, but that’s it. As she, her husband and her friends and family all come to terms with this news, they know that there’s only one solution to it all. The film beautifully and poignantly portrays her strength, humour and resilience, as well as everyone’s struggles at the realisation that their loved one will be no more.
As a way of coping, Maria takes up sharing her experiences on Twitter with a lot of humour and sass, and pretty soon she garners a big fan following. People start sending her gifts, her story comes on the front page of a newspaper, and she also gets a call to interview. However, what she truly craves is time to spend with her loved ones, specifically her son. There’s a deep sadness that you see in her eyes that can drive any person to tears. You know she really wants to live and spend time with her family, but it’s a battle that she cannot win.
Writer-director Carlos Sorin captures the true essence of this situation. On one hand, Maria is glad to leave her pain behind, but on the other, she just doesn’t want to leave. It’s a strange and painful situation, one that Sorin captures and presents to us wonderfully. You will be immersed in the experience from the first scene and after that, it’s a very confusing journey. I say confusing because it’s funny and it’s sad – it’s difficult to feel one way when there are so many emotions involved.
Valeria Bertuccelli as Maria and Esteban Lamothe as Fede capture perfectly the different emotions of this no-win situation. Bertuccelli is poignant and strong, but there’s a sadness in her eyes that you cannot ignore. On the other hand, Lamothe’s Fede is heartbroken at the imminent loss of his beloved but stays strong for her sake. Other actors comprising of her friends, too, are wonderful and bring forth the support of a group of loving friends perfectly. Music composer Sergei Grosny’s background score is sweet and melancholy and is perfect in a story that strives to give us hope, but also tells us death is, sadly, guaranteed.
Summing up: Notes for my Son
Notes for my Son is a story of a mother’s love, a woman’s courage and a support system who love their friend with all they have. It’s sweet and beautiful but leaves you sad. A film worth watching, only if you’re into something of the sort.
Notes for my Son is streaming on Netflix.
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