By Robert Waldman
Most of us love pets. Often our four-legged friends are our helpers. Just a bit off topic concerns the new “guest” a family brings into their life in After Yang. Presented locally by A24 Films and Elevation Pictures this unique movie is currently showing at the VanCity Theatre on Seymour Street In Vancouver
Set in the not-too-distant future After Yang represents cutting edge technology. These days everyone has a smart phone. So how about a smart robot? You see this movie smartly links artificial intelligence to human behavior as an almost indistinguishable high tech robot creates a unique bond with a family of three.
Long thought to be one of the most “virile” men in show business Colin Farrell (SWAT) tries to come clean as mild-mannered Jake. Married to Kyra the pair have a little Chinese girl named Mika. Both Jodie Turner-Smith and Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja are convincing enough as the mother-daughter pair who are just trying to live a good life.
To smooth things over and help maintain the young girls Chinese culture, heritage and tradition mom and dad thought wise to bring a human like robot into the family. Enter Yang who looks so life-like he is almost identical to your typical Chinese male. Or so it seems. Cast as the robot with feelings is Justin H.Min
Like all life forms people age. So do robots. When Yang’s batteries need more than recharging and he/it appears to be on his/it’s last legs you can just imagine the impact it has on the family. What a toll the feeling of loss has on everyone – but especially the little girl quite understandably.
Desperate times call for desperate actions as Jake does whatever he can to try to find a cure. During Jake’s last gasp efforts cracks between his marriage emerge which further ramps up the emotion In this heart-felt story.
Slow at times but extremely well-acted After Yang is an insightful look at the journey of life. Somewhat depressing yet also inspiring it’s a unique little movie that is perceptive and perhaps gives us a sneak peak into what may be just around the corner for all of us. Sooner or later.
For showtimes to to VIFF.org.
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