One family will find itself in serious trouble when their humanoid robot breaks down in the futuristic SF drama of a Korean-American filmmaker known only as Kogonada (Columbus). And it’s a real modern, woke family – Dad Jake (Colin Farrell) is white, Mom Kyra (Jodie Turner – Smith) is black, and their adopted daughter Mika is of course Chinese. The Chinese were also Yang, an artificially intelligent robot they once bought second-hand, already used at half price to raise Mika while they worked, while also bringing her Chinese origins closer to her. But one morning Yang is popularly said to be a church, and Jake has given himself a mission to fix it, which will not be at all easy since Yang is not under warranty.
Of course Mika is unhappy because Yang was like an older brother to her, but to Jake and Kyri he grew closer to his heart over the years. And not only because he was of great help to them around various jobs, but also because they also got used to him as a family member. The timing of this intriguing, clever, and thoughtful film is an undefined near or distant future in which clones (which Jake doesn’t really like) exist from humanoid robots like Yang (we’ll learn that this species is called tehnosapiens). Looking for a master skilled enough to fix Yang, it will seem at first that he has some spyware built in, but in the end it turns out that it is actually a memory card and that the robot had fragmentary memories and life for which members of this families did not know at all.
The film is about what it means to be alive in the first place and what it is that makes someone a human being and a living being in a world that has become completely dependent on technology and unthinkable without her. So at one point when Yang dies, Jake says to his wife (or she to him) something in style now we’re going to have to dedicate more to raising our daughter. And all these people seem somehow cold, distant, isolated that it is almost impossible to distinguish them from robots like Yang. Fine “After Yang” points and hits on the current topic of a kind of existentialist crisis for humanity and times when more and more functions and in reality we consciously or unconsciously leave to technology, artificial intelligence and the like.
And stylistically, Kogonada performed it in an extremely interesting way, because “After Yang” looks futuristic and it’s obvious that people are using technology that doesn’t exist today, but at the same time it’s a film about our time. And as we watch this philosophical drama about what makes a man a man, the great Farrell or his Jake tirelessly tries to find out not only what happened to Yang and why no one can fix him, but also what his secret is and what memories his memory card. The answers they will find are extremely interesting and intriguing, and “After Yang” is definitely a film that deserves attention. Rating 7/10.
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