‘After Yang’ Review: Are Androids Sheep, Babysitting, Presence Dream?

A character in “After Yang” “What’s so great about being human?” he asks. Fair question! In this quiet, melancholy tale of being and belonging, people are troubled, though not as much as ever. Set in a future that is both recognizable and enigmatic, the film envisions a seemingly peaceful world that it can be hard to believe it takes place on Earth. Tears are shed, yes, but almost everyone is extremely good and almost always uses indoor sounds, including clones and androids – or rather, who – is part of the family.

Written and directed by Kogonada, the human-machine interface is mocked throughout “After Yang,” which follows what happens when a family’s android named Yang stops working. The closure shook the household, especially the father, who was the focus of Alexander Weinstein’s original, sour story “Saying Goodbye to Yang.” In both versions, the broken android creates logistical hurdles: Parents work and need a caregiver for their children. But what enlivens the film, fills it with sad emotions and meddles with slightly philosophical side-tracks, is the way your father looks almost as broken as an android.

Shortly after the movie opens, Yang (Justin H. Min) shuts down after a fun, cleverly staged and planned family dance competition. Yang, a supposed technosapien with a human face and the suppressed effect of someone who – like the people in his life – needs to cut off their antidepressants, is bought by Jake (Colin Farrell) and Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith). ) to care for their little girl Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja). Yang tells her adopted Mika from China about her heritage by calling them “Chinese fun facts.” Also, she is next to him when he wakes up in the middle of the night.

Repairing the Yang is unsurprisingly more challenging than navigating under the hood of a car. Yang is a pre-owned model, “approved refurbished” but still used. And while under warranty, Second Siblings, the store from which it was supplied, has closed. “I told you we had to get a new one,” Kyra scolded Jake with the old man. I told you sigh. In the future, men will still take care of the big housework; wives scold their husbands for making foolish decisions; and some families live in languid houses with floor-to-ceiling windows and open floor plans.

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