Ryota Nomoniya (Masaharu Fukuyama) is a successful architect who works around the clock and expects his son to work as hard. Six-year-old Keita plays piano, attends tutorial classes which teach him to lie at school interviews, and abides by Japanese etiquette. But there is one problem: Keita doesn't have Nomoniya's gift for wit.
A blood test reveals that Keita is not Nomoniya's child. His biological son, Ryusei, lives with a humble family that owns an electronic shop in a remote suburb. Nomoniya has to decide whether to swap the boys.
What could have been cliche-filled is turned cleverly around, with Koreeda telling the film through mood-setting scenes rather than dramatic dialogue. It almost feels a little experimental, blending a reflection of modern Japanese family life and scenic cinematography.
The grimness of the situation and the life-changing decisions facing Fukuyama are what make Like Father Like Son particularly fascinating. But not even being fascinating and experimental are excuses for dragging out a story.
YP Rating: 4/5