In “Angry Son”, Kasho Iizuka paints a nuanced portrait of a young biracial man, Jungo, as he navigates the complexities of his identity and relationship with his single mother, Reina. The film, set in a drab apartment in Japan, follows Jungo as he struggles to come to terms with his Filipino heritage and his mother’s decision to marry an unemployed schlub.
As Jungo sets out to find his biological father, a Japanese man he’s never met, he must also weigh his career options and navigate his relationship with his boyfriend, Yusuke. The film depicts a realistic portrayal of the struggles and triumphs of growing up in a multiracial family.
Iizuka shows a keen sensitivity to Jungo’s dilemmas and deftly navigates the complexities of biracial identity. Horike’s glowering, coiled performance makes him the focal point of every scene, yet he’s never unsympathetic.
However, the film is not without its shortcomings. The portrayal of Reina, a voluble Filipina mother, can verge on caricature. Additionally, the handling of Jungo and Yusuke’s relationship is less satisfactory, with a lack of discernible chemistry between the actors.
Iizuka’s script also has a didactic edge, particularly when introducing an asexual classmate, Rina, who hopes the couple can help her achieve her dream of having children. These characters feel like plot points in search of a character.
Overall, “Angry Son” is a compelling character study that delves into the complexities of biracial identity and family dynamics. Despite its shortcomings, the film has plenty to recommend it and is worth watching for its sensitive portrayal of a young biracial man’s coming-of-age journey.