Colin Farrell (“The Batman”, “The Gentlemen”) is no stranger to the weirder side of the silver screen, just take a look at The Lobster as one instance. Here, he takes the lead in Kogonada’s (“Columbus”, “Pachinko (TV)”) latest movie After Yang which, whilst not quite on the levels of The Lobster, won’t be a movie for everyone.
After Yang sees Farrell as Jake with wife Kyra, Jodie Turner-Smith (“Anne Boleyn (TV)”, “Queen & Slim”), and adopted daughter Mika, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja (“Raven’s Home (TV)”, Coop and Cami Ask the World (TV)”), living alongside a synthetic human called Yang, Justin H. Min (“The Umbrella Academy (TV)”, “The Better Half”).
Yang was purchased to help Mika with her Chinese heritage, Jake and Kyra believing it important for her to know. However, just a couple of years into their ownership, Yang shuts down and won’t restart.
Jake attempts to find the original store he purchased Yang from, but it’s now a fish-shop. He attempts a few other places before landing on a friend of his neighbour George, Clifton Collins Jr. (“Nightmare Alley”, “Westworld (TV)”).
Russ, Ritchie Coster(“The Walking Dead (TV)”, “The Flight Attendant (TV)”), is a backstreet synthetic fixer who has no issues opening Yang up, despite this being illegal. What he finds is something he believes is spyware, Russ it transpires is a bit of a conspiracy theorist.
Russ gives Jake the name of someone who may be able to help him view Yang’s memories and he winds up at a museum run by Cleo, Sarita Choudhury (“The Green Knight”, “It Snows in Benidorm”). She is fascinated and wants to put Yang, and his memories (not spyware), on display, but first, Jake wants a look.
What follows is a look at what it means to be human, to love, to live and what it’s like to experience loss. It also touches on privacy, but more by the nature of what’s occurring than the movie attempting to actually say anything about it.
There are a number of standout things in After Yang, the two main ones being Malea who absolutely shines throughout and the opening credits. Kogonada takes the idea of something going viral and takes it to another level. It’s completely at odds with anything else you’ll see in the movie but it’s absolutely bonkers and brilliant.
Malea meanwhile steals the scenes she’s in, from serious to cute to second languages and even giving us a song, she can do it all and she does it wonderfully.
After Yang definitely won’t be for everyone, it is slow at times, in one scene you are literally watching Colin Farrell make a cup of tea, I mean, a fancy cup of tea, but he’s making a cup of tea. Having said that, if you are into it, I feel like it would take a couple of watches to really get to the bones of what Kogonada is trying to tell us and if that’s your cup of tea, cheers.
22nd September 2022
THE QUICK SELL
In a near future, a family reckons with questions of love, connection, and loss after their A.I. helper unexpectedly breaks down.