Friday, February 16, 2007

Family Law directed by Daniel Burman

Uruguayan actor Daniel Hendler plays lawyer Ariel Perelman in "Family Law," Argentine writer-director Daniel Burman's third film about the relationships between fathers and sons. This is Hendler's third starring role in the Burman trilogy, featuring "Waiting for the Messiah" (2000) and "Lost Embrace" (2004).

The plot of "Family Law" seems to mirror elements of the 33-year-old filmmaker's life: Before studying film, he studied law; his father, mother and brother are all lawyers; and Burman became a father four years ago with the birth of his first son, Eloy, who plays Hendler's son in the film.
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Can a low-key comedy be too low-key? Daniel Burman's "Family Law," set in contemporary Argentina, stars Daniel Hendler as Ariel Perelman, a law professor in his 30s who, upon getting married and having his first child, is reassessing his relationship with his father.

That imposing figure -- a charismatic lawyer who plies his trade with all the moxie and style the self-effacing Ariel lacks -- is named Bernardo (played with understated gusto by Arturo Goetz). Seen at a distance by Ariel, who narrates "Family Law" as if his life were a public television documentary, Bernardo emerges as a man whose paternal desires for his son have been continually thwarted by the less ambitious Ariel.
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