Narrative by Jason Bateman
The Family Fang is a quirky story that thoughtfully touches on the themes of family, art and love. Jason Bateman, who directs and stars in the film, proves himself a double-threat by successfully bringing this imaginative story to life. Bateman is known for his comedies such as Horrible Bosses or Arrested Development, and while this film is funny it presents a much darker side of comedy.
Jason Bateman and Nicole Kidman play a brother and sister, who grew up in the shadow of their parent’s provocative performance art. When their parents go missing, the siblings come together to figure out if they’re really gone, or if this is yet again just another performance meant to invoke a reaction. Throughout the course of solving the mystery we get glimpses into the actual performances the Fang family created and how it shaped the lives of these two deeply troubled siblings.
What makes art? How does art affect social change? Should this art be seen as good or bad? What are you willing to sacrifice for the sake of art? These are all questions this film raises and really doesn’t seek to answer, but rather it tries to invoke the audience to decide for themselves. In a statement about the film, Bateman says this, “Determining the quality of the art is not as important as understanding how it demonstrates what kind of parents Caleb and Camille are, and the effect the art has on their children. What is important all the way through the story is to have a sense of the children’s melancholy and their unsettled feeling. The performance pieces are meant to be more revealing about the children -- what they went through, and the damage that was done to them -- than determining the validity of the art or the audience’s reaction to it.”