In the Netflix documentary, actor Robert Downey Jr. battles against time to capture memories of his father and his love for cinema.
Robert Downey Jr. made his acting debut in his father’s 1970 film “Pound” when he was just five years old. In the Netflix documentary “Sr,” the father-son duo sets off on a final cinematic adventure journey. It is nearly fifty years after the meeting. The documentary Robert Downey Jr. made in honor of his filmmaker father. More than anything else, it’s a gruesome reflection on mortality. But it’s also a parent-child story and a look into the life of an artist.
The documentary is titled “Sr.” since Robert Downey Jr. and his father have the same name. Downey Jr. portrays an emotional race against time throughout the documentary as he tries to capture as much as possible because his father, battling Parkinson’s disease at the time, began filming three years ago, shortly after Downey’s father was diagnosed with Parkinson’s. Downey claims he had no idea the movie would eventually take the form it has today.
The movie’s beginning explains that he is attempting to understand his father. The film then examines Sr.’s characteristics as a filmmaker and what influenced “Sr.” style over 90 minutes. How he portrayed it on film and the effects his work had on his family. Downey mentions his addiction in passing on several occasions throughout the movie, but he never goes into further detail. Of course, he is under no obligation.
Chris Smith, the filmmaker, often delegated his directing duties to Sr., allowing him to serve as the movie’s primary narrator. His peers in the film industry have referred to him as having an “odd sense of humor.” as a filmmaker who primarily produced between the 1960s and 1990s. Sr. was an expert in what people may say is the absurdist style of the film. In their final encounter in New York, Downey’s son “Exton” expressed his willingness to spend as much time with his grandfather as possible before he “passes.”
Sr. is a compelling documentary on the Downey duo’s affinity with cinema, presented in a comically disorganized way. It connects every element of his life back to the movies he made. It is also the last examination of the bond between a father and a son. It is compelling viewing because of the feelings it aims to elicit.