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Starring: Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Justin H. Min, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, Haley Lu Richardson. Sarita Choudhury, Ritchie Coster
OUR RATING: ★★★☆☆
A24’s sci-fi drama written and directed by Kogonada. Set in the near future where robotic children are purchased as live-in babysitters, After Yang (2022) follows Jake (Colin Farrell), who after his young daughter’s companion, an android named Yang (Justin H. Min), malfunctions, searches for a way to repair him. In the process, Jake reconnects with his wife, Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith), and daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja), across a distance he didn’t know was there.
Our Favorite Quotes:'What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly.' - Yang (After Yang) Click To Tweet
Kyra: He loves that old camera.
Jake: Come on, Yang.
Yang: One second.
Mika: Don’t forget to join us.
Yang: I will Look here for a second.
Jake: What are you doing? Come on.
[Yang joins them as they take a family photo together]
Kyra: I feel like, I don’t know. I don’t want to regret.
Jake: I’ll make more time. I will. I promise.
Kyra: You know I’m not putting this on you, right?
Jake: Sort of.
Kyra: I’m not.
Jake: I’m teasing.
Kyra: I just want us to be a team. A family.
Kyra: [referring to Yang malfunctioning] I told you we should’ve just bought a new one.
Jake: He was new. I mean, practically.
Kyra: He’s refurbished.
Jake: Certified refurbished. And he’d only been in use for five days. Five days. And we saved, but now he…
Kyra: Never mind. Let’s just get him fixed.
George: [referring to Mika] Did she see Yang all dead-eyed? I bet it freaked her out.
Mika: I don’t want to go to school. I want to be with Yang.
Jake: Mika, the longer we wait, the worse it’s going to be for Yang.
Mika: What do you mean?
Jake: He’ll start decomposing.
Mika: Is Yang going to be better?
Jake: Yes, he’s going to be.
Kyra: Well, we don’t know for sure, but…
Mika: What do you mean?
Jake: Yeah, what do you mean?
Kyra: We can’t make any promises. But, Mika, listen, if you can be good and calm for the rest of the day, I’m going to bring you a surprise.
Jake: You just promised her a surprise.
Kyra: That’s different.
Aaron: [referring to Yang] We can have him recycled at Brothers & Sisters. If you do so before he begins to decompose, you’ll get a thousand dollars off on a new model, which is great. If you don’t want to have him recycled, which I completely understand, we are equipped to turn his head, and his voice box, into a virtual assistant, and we’d salvage the remaining parts for you.
Aaron: But we would have to send the core to Brothers & Sisters.
Jake: No, no, no. That’s not going to happen.
Russ: I need your permission to break open the core.
Jake: It’s against the law.
Russ: It’s just, it’s a bunch of corporate bulls**t. Do you know who made that a law? Brothers & Sisters. They’re just trying to protect their spyware. You recycle that, they will have so much data on your family, it’ll make your head spin.
Jake: I’m not interested.
Russ: Your loss.
Kyra: Maybe this is a good thing.
Jake: How is this a good thing?
Kyra: Yang has been wonderful. And we’d all miss him terribly, but we’ve been over-reliant on him. We bought Yang to connect Mika to her Chinese heritage, not to raise her.
Jake: Yeah, but we spent a lot of money on Yang. I mean, I’m not going to, you know, feel bad if he does more for Mika than teach her Chinese fun facts.
Kyra: He does a lot more than that.
'Our senses are stored, never to be the same. Whisper to us. They existed. We can be, and be better, for they existed.' - Ada (After Yang) Click To Tweet
Kyra: [to Jake] If we can’t fix Yang, we’re not going to buy another sibling for Mika. That would just be strange. And we can’t afford it anyway. So we need to be more involved. More than we are now. And not just in raising her, in connecting Mika to her culture and heritage. Like, that will be on us. So we need to be ready and willing.
Mika: [flashback, referring to the kids at school] They said Mom and Dad weren’t really my parents. Not really.
Yang: Do you believe them?
Mika: I mean, they’re our parents. But we’re not, you know, they’re not. Not really.
Yang: See this branch? This branch is also from another tree. But look, you’re connected to Mom and Dad, just like this branch. You’re a part of the family tree. For real.
Mika: Then so are you.
Yang: [to Mika] But you should know that both trees are important. Not just this one, but the one from this branch too. Your other family tree is also a vital part of who you are.
Russ: We’ve always known that some bots are equipped with spyware. Especially the foreign ones. And now we have proof.
Jake: Now? So you’ve never seen these before.
Russ: What does it matter? It is what it is!
Jake: Have you looked at the recordings?
Russ: No. No! I’m pro-privacy.
Russ: This is some high-level s**t, man. I mean, this is… Sorry, I’m just trying to wrap my head around it.
Jake: It’s disturbing.
Russ: Yes. It is disturbing. It’s time to wake up, man.
Jake: I guess I’ll take Yang back.
Russ: I’ll tell you what. Why don’t you look what’s on there first? If it’s something bad, disturbing, you might not want this bot in your house anymore. You can take him, but also, he’s going to start decomposing. You won’t get as much value for him. I can keep him hooked up on the simulator until you know more.
Cleo: Holy s**t, this isn’t spyware. I’m pretty sure it’s a memory bank. The memory banks allowed the technos to record a few seconds each day. The labs were trying to understand what technos considered memorable. But the research was uncovered, the whole project was shut down immediately for violating privacy laws.
'There's no something without nothing.' - Yang (After Yang) Click To Tweet
Jake: So what do I do?
Cleo: Oh, I’m not going to lie. This is a big deal. If it’s the regulator, then Russ is right. He’s not going to turn on. I’m just being honest with you. But his existence, Yang’s existence would be an invaluable contribution to this museum, and just to the whole understanding of techno-sapiens. So I guess the real question’s going to be, what do we pay you to have Yang and his memories in our collection?
Kyra: [referring to Yang] So is he going to be up and running again soon?
Jake: I’m not sure. You know, it’s complicated.
Russ: I can’t believe they finally got him.
Jake: Please, just let me have Yang back.
Russ: I want an explanation.
Jake: Yang belongs to us. I don’t need to give you an explanation.
Cleo: So if you don’t mind, we’re just going to do a full check-up, and we’re going to restore Yang as best we can.
Jake: Oh, that would be great.
Cleo: It won’t help with his off state, but it should help with his preservation.
Yang: [flashback] What do you like about tea?
Jake: Do you mean the taste of tea?
Yang: Maybe. Is the taste why you like tea?
Jake: It has something to do with it.
Yang: Is it why you’ve given your life to tea?
Jake: Given my life to tea. Well, that sounds pretty serious.
Yang: Is it not serious?
Jake: I guess I’ve acquired a taste for tea. But it’s not why I became interested. I think what I was really drawn to at the beginning was the idea of tea.
'We always assume that other beings would want to be human. What's so great about being human?' - Ada (After Yang) Click To Tweet
Jake: I think it was his searching that compelled me. You know, the pursuit of this illusive thing, this process that was connected to the soil, to the plants, to the weather, and to a way of life. To a way of life.
Yang: So that’s what you like about tea? The search, not so much the taste.
Jake: No, no, no. The taste too.
Yang: So do you believe it?
Jake: What’s that?
Yang: That a cup of tea can contain a world? That you could taste a place, a time?
Yang: I wish Chinese tea wasn’t just about facts for me.
Jake: What do you mean?
Yang: I like watching the way you make tea. It’s very beautiful. The way the leaves bloom, and float, and fall. I wish I felt something deeper about tea. I wish I had a real memory of tea in China. Of a place. Of a time. I think this would…
Yang: Sorry. I lost my train of thought.
Jake: Are you happy, Yang?
Yang: I don’t know if that’s the question for me.
Ada: [flashback] Our senses are stored, never to be the same. Whisper to us. They existed. They existed. We can be and be better, for they existed.
Yang: Do you think that’s true?