Take a look at the modern Andrey Zvyagintsev classic from 2003 from this perspective. Or watch it on MUBI first and check it out later.
I don’t think there are many unanswered questions in the movie.
First of all, it is important why your father returned after 12 years. We learn from the argument he has with his little brother in the car in the movie that the father did not show up suddenly, but came upon the mother’s request. So why did the mother call the father and ask him to spend time with the children? The answer to this is in the first scene of the movie. Even though the older brother knows that the younger brother is afraid of heights, he forces him to jump from the pier, and when he cannot jump, he leaves his brother on the pier to avoid being humiliated by his friends. With this behavior, we understand that he cannot be a good brother who takes care of his brother. Probably after this incident, he calls the parents and asks them to take care of the children, and the father comes the next day. When the father meets his children for the first time, instead of showing his love by hugging and kissing them, he treats them like adults by telling them to drink wine. Because your father has a purpose and he won’t stay long.
I think the reason why he didn’t stay long was that there was a bad incident between him and his mother, and the blame for this incident must belong entirely to the mother. The reason why I think this way is; After 12 years, the mother and father do not speak a single word in all the scenes in which they appear together. While the father is busy repairing the car, the mother watches him longingly. In another scene, when the mother is in bed at night and the father comes, the mother turns slightly towards the father, but there is no response from him. This means there is a serious problem between father and mother. The father’s purpose in returning is to instill self-confidence in his children and to present a father that they can take as an example for their developing characters.
For this purpose, I found the father’s attitude towards his children to be quite correct – considering that he will not stay long. He plays the role of a harsh, educating and disciplining father so that children can be prepared for the events they may encounter in their lives. The entire movie is spent with examples of the father preparing his children for life. When he dies, we realize how successful the father was in the short time he spent with his children. The older brother, who until then could not fulfill the requirements of the concept of brother and took advice from his younger brother in many places; After his father’s death, he suddenly begins to act maturely and guides his brother as he should in the face of events. We now understand that your father has achieved his goal. I have answered some of the places that have been seen as question marks in the movie so far, in my own way, through scenes.
I read in some critics comments that the father does not love his children. I totally disagree with this. If he didn’t like it, he wouldn’t have come immediately after receiving news from his mother or he wouldn’t still have the family photo in his car. I also attribute the older sibling’s desire to get closer to his father to the fact that he spent more time with his father than the younger sibling. As can be seen from the photographs, the father left when the little brother was still a baby. The little brother has never experienced his father’s love. But since the older sibling spends more time with his father, he may have a longing for his father…