I was drawn to watch this film because Tom Hanks is one of the stars. He played the role of the father of a child living with Asperger syndrome, a mental disability, marked by diminished social capability in the child. Oskar, the child, was only able to communicate well with his father and eventually with his grandfather. He did not have a good relationship with his mother, who was often relegated to the background.
The close relationship between father and son was marked by their preoccupation with scavenger hunts. These games put Oskar in a position to communicate with other people. The fun and games abruptly ended on that fateful morning of September 11th, 2001. Oskar's father was in one of the two World Trade Centre towers and he died when the building collapsed. It was a pretty traumatic experience for Oskar but somehow, through his father's effects, he was able to conjure a last scavenger hunt. One of the most difficult for him to do because his father wasn't by his side.
What he didn't know was that his mother knew him too well. She contacted everyone that he would meet along this scavenger hunt, despite their seemingly worsening relationship. Her love for him was suddenly put under the spotlight: while Oskar's father bonded with him, his mother worked in the background. And this, for me, is the most touching, most delicate relationship of all in the movie. She was almost like the guardian angel who was watching over him all the time.
I liked the movie a lot, though I felt punched in the gut when I heard the father's last words before the phone call got cut. At first, I found it hard to watch because the kid was so loud! But the quieter moments were when the movie shone the brightest, and these scenes drew me closer into the story. At the end, I was quite happy that I took the time to persevere through the movie.
Now waiting for the next Tom Hanks movie.