Watch American Son
American Son is a gripping drama that tells a deeply emotional story centered around contemporary societal issues that plague the lives of many families in America. The story takes place in a South Florida police station, where a worried mother Kendra Ellis-Connor (Kerry Washington) awaits answers about her missing son Jamal. Kendra is a strong-willed, intelligent, and driven woman. She has an estranged relationship with her husband Scott Connor (Steven Pasquale), a white FBI agent, who is often too busy with his work.
The movie opens with Kendra anxiously waiting at the police station, trying to gather information about the whereabouts of her son, who is an 18-year-old Black student. With each passing minute, Kendra's desperation and anger grow as she becomes increasingly frustrated with the authorities who refuse to reveal any information about her son's case.
As Kendra gets more and more upset, she meets Officer Larkin (Jeremy Jordan), who is assigned to Jamal's case. Larkin attempts to comfort Kendra, but their interaction only reveals the racial tensions and divides that exist in the society. Kendra, being a Black woman married to a White man, has a lot to say about racism, law enforcement, and her life experiences. She expresses her frustration with the way authorities treat Black people and the lack of action on their part regarding police brutality and social injustices affecting the black community.
Meanwhile, Kendra's husband Scott arrives at the police station, and their contrasting perspectives on race, identity, and parenting come to light. Scott and Kendra have different parenting styles as Scott seems to be more authoritative and rigid, while Kendra believes in giving her son more freedom and space to make his life decisions. It is clear that their contrasting perspectives towards parenting are the reason for their separation.
As the movie progresses, the audience sees the challenges and complexities of being a black man in America from different angles. The tensions rise, and the lines of communication break down, as more information about Jamal's case comes to light, and Kendra's anxiety turns into disbelief, sadness, and anger.
The movie's power is in the way it addresses and tackles important conversations surrounding race, identity, and parenting. While the film's primary focus is on race, it is also a commentary on the flaws in the criminal justice system and the complexities of relationships. In a society where Black men are often victims of racial profiling and police brutality, American Son tackles these challenges head-on, leaving the audience with a better understanding of the alarming depths of inequality that resound across racial divides in America.
The performances of the lead cast members are phenomenal, drawing the audience into their emotional turmoil and the heartwrenching reality of life lived on the margins of society. Kerry Washington gives an excellent performance as Kendra, delving deep into the pain and trauma of being a loving but fiercely protective black mother. Steven Pasquale brings a convincing but rigid portrayal of Kendra's estranged husband, Scott Connor. Jeremy Jordan's performance as Officer Larkin is equally outstanding, providing a lens through which the audience can see shifting perspectives on race.
In summary, American Son is a poignant and timely film that explores tough themes in a realistic and powerful way. The movie highlights the racial rifts in society and the devastating consequences of prejudice, ignorance, and violence. It's a must-watch for anyone who cares about understanding the consequences of injustice towards black people in America.
American Son is a 2019 drama. It has received mostly poor reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 5.9 and a MetaScore of 34.