Subtle and Unimaginative

Kramer vs Kramer (1979) by Robert Benton

Other films by Robert Benton: The Late Show (1977), Places in the Heart (1984), Nobody's Fool (1994)

Kramer vs Kramer has always been a household name when it comes to great moving films. It just added more expectations when I found out that Dustin Hoffman starred in it and delivered a great performance. To cut it short, I really expected a lot from the film, not much from its cinematography but more of its storytelling. Unfortunately my expectations weren’t really met and I felt very disappointed. The film had its small moments but it didn’t really leave behind something that I could treasure for quite a while, reminds me of the result I also felt for Scorsese’s Raging Bull.


Directing: The cinematography felt a little absent. The introduction was okay and actually interesting, but there were numerous scenes that felt really off in editing and transition. The bike scene had a very shaky held on the camera, and the small conversations scenes felt just like a television soap opera.

The leaving scene felt so realistic and you can almost sense the awkward shock as if it is happening to you. That long one shot take of the father and son usual morning routine was really interesting and well done.

During the accident scene with the doctor and the stitches, it would have been really sweeter if Ted distracted his son with a story or by asking some child personal questions and Billy would answer honestly to each of them without noticing the procedure to have passed.

Plot: Simple and normal plot which is actually a heavy drama that may characterize most modern families today. Although the film greatly focused on how a single father with a fulltime work balances his life caring for a young boy, it didn’t manage to grasp critically the perspective of the child and even the mother. The film told the story but didn’t really show it. Something the directing and scriptwriting could have greatly improved on.

Characters/Acting: Hoffman and Streep’s acting were complementary and convincing. The former did magnificent to be honest, especially during the first morning after Streep left him.

Score: Nothing special, maybe below average at most.

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