That last sentence reflects the main motifs and themes for the film.
The logline that Netflix states about the film is:
“Working at a homeless shelter, a young man sees a lot of alcoholic con artists. But only one is his long-lost father.”
Being Flynn stars Paul Dano as the main character, Nick, whose estranged father, Jonathan, played by Robert De Niro re-connects with him where he works at a homeless shelter after not seeing him for 18 years.
If you want to see De Niro in his absolute best form, go and watch this movie. If you are a fan of seeing Paul Dano compete on screen with the greatest actors in the history of cinema, go and watch this movie. If you just love how Julianne Moore can steal the show, then this film is for you.
Jonathan Flynn is an unreliable father that was never around and showed up when he pleased. We learn in this movie that the theme of being unreliable can greatly affect the others around you. Jonathan Flynn is an alcoholic writer and ex-convict who constantly tries to convince the audience that he is this grandiose storyteller and that everything that he is doing in life is just “fine and dandy”. But we learn that his failure as a father seriously impacts the upbringing of his son, Nick, and the relationship that Nick has with his mother, played by Julianne Moore. Jonathan’s inconsistency as a father lead’s Nick’s mother to commit suicide, making Nick feel responsible for his lack of accountability.
Nick falls into severe alcoholism and drug addiction to cope with the stress of his father showing up at the homeless shelter of where he works, which costs him his relationship with his girlfriend. His father’s erratic behavior at the shelter with other homeless people forces the Nick and the staff there to vote whether or not Jonathan can stay. Once again, his irresponsibility caused Nick to spiral even more downward because he begins a relationship with something called crack cocaine.
We get to really become fans of both of these characters. The main difference is despite both of their downward spirals, Jonathan always seems to be okay and land on his feet. Jonathan is the one who hits rock bottom harder but he doesn't let his past affect him. Nick, on the other hand, does and that is why it takes Nick a longer time to land on his feet. This is because Jonathan is always positive and enjoys any curveball that life throws at him. Whereas Nick is always moaning and crying about something. Until Nick realizes that he needs to accept father's capricious behavior, he eventually finds an awakening and understanding within himself.
I just gave you the meat and potatoes of the film but I refuse to give you desert.
As you can see, unreliable action’s is the cause of a powerful domino effect on people’s lives. If we all understood this concept then people would be more reliable, then there would be a major reduction in the world's problems. Think about it, because this theme goes way past father-son relationships. Politicians, Musicians, CEO’s, friendships, employers and ETC. are all unreliable. All people are unreliable. If you find someone that you can rely on in life don’t ever let go.
With every action of being unreliable is a greater and more powerful reaction.
If you want to feel something that will hit you hard in the gut, to make you learn about your past actions and how they have affected others that you may have never known that you ever did by your own faithless undoing; then this is a great Friday night film for you.
I’d love to hear what you guys all think of this film. Comment below and let me know!