After Yang (2022) Poster

(2022)

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9/10
Beautifully shot, well acted, with deep and subtle symbolism, a bit slow
siderite31 March 2022
We immediately see that we are in the future because everything has great style and space and nature, Colin Farrell is married to a beautiful and exotic black woman (who kind of treats him like dirt because he doesn't earn as much) and they have a Chinese daughter and a human looking android. Then the android breaks, leaving the family, but mostly the little girl, bereaved. It is up to Farrell's character to understand why it broke, untangle the complex rules of service and/or replacement in a corporate ruled world and also discover who their android actually was.

At no moment does the film hit you over the head with anything. Ideas are subtle, although not too much, seeing that I caught on to them. At its core the film examines deep concepts like the meaning and worth of one's life, the value of connection, but in a way that brings a lot to the discussion, yet not forcing an answer. It poses questions in the form of characters dealing with stuff and there is no definite closure, although they all reach some sort of higher understanding.

I would like to tell you that I loved the film, but it had its issues as well. One of them is that it was kind of slow. Everything was meticulously planned and beautifully shot, but consider that this is barely one hour and a half and felt a lot longer. Indeed, it is based on a short story so either the writer/director had to add a lot more to the story or instead focus on style and art form. It is a very good film and certainly one of the better I've seen in a while and I highly recommend it, but it might be advisable to be in a more contemplative or introspective mood when you try watching it.
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7/10
Worth seeing
gbill-748774 July 2022
In what seems to be the near future, a married couple and their young daughter deal their "techno-sapien" android/nanny Yang ceasing to function. As the husband tries to get him (note, not "it") refurbished, he learns more about Yang's life, both with his family and the one before he met them. "Technos" like Yang are equipped with memory that allow them to record a few seconds each day, and in some of the film's finest moments, the husband gains access to these. It's touching to see what was notable to Yang, who is more human-like (or even Christ-like) than machine, and Kogonada explores what it means to be a conscious organism in a world where technology could possibly create consciousness.

Despite the premise, After Yang seems to deal more with death and the loss of a gentle person in one's life than it does with the traditional themes of robots in science fiction. It certainly doesn't pursue some of the more interesting angles, e.g. The privacy breach Yang represents. When the company "recycles" technos, you see, it has access to a massive amount of information about the family they were with. We see that Yang is warm and gentle, in direct contrast to specter of a high-tech Big Brother or the cool, emotionless tension we see in the parents, and it made me wonder whether it was possible to create organisms that are better than humans, and not the apocalyptic Terminator type devices seen elsewhere.

It's all a very interesting concept, but I'm not sure Kogonada did as much with it as he could have. He also moves this film along at too slow a pace, one bordering on pretentiousness. The wonderful dance sequence in the opening credits and Mitski's cover of Glide help breathe life into it, but not enough for me to truly love this film. Maybe more perspective from the little girl or mother, or maybe letting up on the brake to allow for more of development in the story would have done it for me. Worth seeing though.
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5/10
not connecting with this
SnoopyStyle10 March 2022
Jake (Colin Farrell), his wife Kyra, and their adopted Chinese daughter Mika are a happy family with android Yang. Yang breaks down and Mika becomes depressed.

It's slow and I'm not connecting with Yang. Maybe if the movie opens with a better scene of Yang being a caretaker with Mika. He isn't much more than a robot. I don't feel it. He needs to be a breathing feeling human being. His reveal should be shocking. He can't be a robot while being a robot. This film is all played understated and I'm not connecting with this.
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8/10
Profound and Beautiful
sweidman-2801622 January 2022
"There's no something without nothing."

When Yang - a lifelike, artificially intelligent android - abruptly stops functioning, a father's quest to repair him eventually becomes one of existential introspection and contemplating his own life, as it passes him by. After Yang is Kogonada's second feature after Columbus. I haven't seen Columbus but it's become a must see in the indie feature selection from the past few years. Foreign to his style and skills, I found his work to be masterful. Firstly, the script, based on a short story, is incredibly thought provoking. It plays heavy on the ethics of life and technology leaving us to wonder if an A. I. is worth saving. Filled to the brim with beautiful moments, everything is bittersweet and sentimental. One of the big aspects is memories. Kogonada writes and execute this memories much like how our mind process them. Little things repeat and change to bring out the correct portrayal. At first it feels like your mind processed the scene wrong but quickly you'll pick up on that. Another thing I loved is the camera placement throughout. He has the vision of what we should be looking at specifically, even if it's not the focus of the scene, and it all flows together nicely. The cinematography is stunning, popping with life and great production design. The score is also really beautiful.

Colin Farrell has a difficult character to play. The complexity of managing a different persona from actual growing feelings is hard to convey with what the film deals with. There's a few scenes he nails perfectly. Hayley Lu Richardson does well in her smaller role. We slowly learn who she is and how she fits into this story. Once we find out the full story, it's emotional and profound. Justin H. Min as Yang only has a few scenes but his presence is felt throughout. Most of his dialogue is poetic and adds so much to his character. The film is never too on the nose or explains everything to the audience. We're piecing details and thoughts together just as much as they are. This is a slow burn. Sometimes the pacing falls flat within scenes. As everything progresses, it's hard not to be mesmerized by the topics and story as a whole. I really want to read the short story now. Though the film may end on a note that doesn't work for everyone, I think it ends at the perfect moment. The last few scenes are a knock out. I'm really pleased with After Yang and want to rewatch it again. Earnest and profound, it'll be hard to forget.
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5/10
The idea of Tea
nogodnomasters16 March 2022
Warning: Spoilers
Jake (Colin Farrell) and his wife (Jodie Turner-Smith) have an adopted Asian daughter Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja). They obtain an Asian looking android named Yang (Justin H. Min) to be her brother and help her learn about her own culture. Yang malfunctions. We then find Jake attempting to have him repaired for about half an hour. Then he manages to read snippets of Yang's memories and spends the rest of the film looking at them and contacting previous owners to emotional piano music.

The film was boring. It discusses various themes, but not in any meaningful detail. I never got into any of the characters, so their feelings were immaterial.

Guide: No swearing, sex, or nudity.
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4/10
Pretentious and boring
El_Jefe9 March 2022
Is everyone but the little girl a robot? Colin Farrell and Jodie Turner-Smith have zero chemistry or appearance of a meaningful relationship. They don't seem like parents. They seem like robot care-takers, like in Raised by Wolves.

The Sci-Fi elements are... dumb. Like the utterly pointless scene of Farrell trying to guess the right sequence of command words to an AI in a world with completely sentient robots. Make up your mind, can AI in this world understand natural human speech, or can it not? It all feels very "Boomer".

This is the worst thing I've ever seen connected to A24.
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7/10
gentle and lyrical and flawless
A_Different_Drummer6 March 2022
So few of these hi-concept lo-budget sci-fi films succeed, it is important for both critics and viewers alike to honor those that pull it off. That said, to argue that the brilliance of the film lies in its ability to leave the viewer with weighty thoughts afterwards is to miss the joy and compassion of the film in real time. Not Marvel. Not even especially commercial. But, for what it is, flawless.
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2/10
A dull, morose, pretentious & nonsensical turd
danieljfarthing8 March 2022
Colin Farrell's long liked art-fart tosh (witness "The Lobster") but writer / director Koganda's dire sci-fi drama "After Yang" is a new low for him. In the near-future he & Jodie Turner-Smith find Justin H Min (the cyborg they bought to keep adopted daughter Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja company) has suddenly stopped working. Trying to fix him Farrell plods thru the likes of Clifton Collins Jnr & Ritchie Coster, bogged by a depressing score and painfully slow pretentious dialogue on the nature of life, death, after-life, family, belonging, etc. What does it mean? Anyone enduring this waste of acting talent deserves to know... but almost certainly won't. It's a turd.
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9/10
Brilliant
Jithindurden6 March 2022
In 2017 I decided to watch the nominees of most of the well-known award ceremonies and the Independent spirits awards had multiple nominations including best first feature, best first screenplay and best cinematography for the movie "Columbus". That was the most pleasant surprise I had that year because unlike most of the other films I've heard for the first time by checking those lists, "Columbus" blew me away by its visual language. It said a ton even when the movie itself stayed simple and didn't rely too much on exposition. So, I was excited about Kogonada's second feature and he completely delivered.

There have been many films that ask questions about the existence and consciousness of artificial beings. Most of them explore a bigger story where this plot point will be used for dramatic effect and the twists and turns in the plot. But none have felt as heartfelt and poignant as this one. The film feels so personal as most of the film occurs inside a house. Unlike "Columbus" where he explored the architecture of that small town to show the dreams and confusions of the characters, here Kogonada uses the confines inside an elegantly designed house to show the barriers and connections between the family members. The film explores themes like what constitutes a family, what makes someone human, what is memories, what is beyond our existence as we know it, and about the ability of the human mind to love and hate anything without seemingly needing any logic, etc. It also shows various ways people would choose to mourn a beloved person. Some of it is seen directly as part of the story and some are shown partially and leave the audience to work it out themselves.
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3/10
somnolent
msalkin-466775 March 2022
When I check to see how much time is left in a movie, I know it's a stinker. "Profound, sincere, beautiful, meaningful, contemplative, etc." lose their meaning when one's asleep.
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1/10
Not worth the time
ro-kunz5 March 2022
One of these modern movies where absolutely nothing happens and the mood is artificially kept cold and distant as if real life was like that. Kid is also annoying af.
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4/10
pure emote
ellipseanostalrius5 March 2022
If you want to watch 2 hours of people whispering and mumbling sweet nothings in a soft, romantic light, this is your movie.

Not really sure what it was about because I couldn't hear anyone. Something about a robot maybe. There's a kid. Also it has Colin Farrell in it. Not sure what accent he was sporting this time, but it was very quiet.
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4/10
Paint dries so slow
boggie475813 March 2022
I kept thinking while watching this movie was is this all there is? The movie literally was like watching paint dry...I probably would get more out of watching the paint. This movie is dull and I didn't get anything out of it. It was like a art movie that you don't get anything out of. I didn't like this movie at all. I couldn't stand the tone of voice the actors were using..almost like they were whispering in a monotone. A very boring dull movie. Not my cup of tea so to speak....
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Touching and thought-provoking look at A.I.
gortx19 March 2022
Like with his previous feature, COLUMBUS, Director Kogonada has fashioned an evocative tale about communication. Taking the form of a sci-fi film, AFTER YANG concerns a married couple, Jake (Colin Farrell) and Kyra (Jodi Turner-Smith), who have adopted a Chinese girl Mika (Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja). In this unspecified future, a family can employ a surrogate android sibling, here named Yang (Justin Min). Yang acts not only as an older brother, but as a tutor who gives Mika a richer understanding of her Chinese heritage. When Yang malfunctions, the parents scramble to repair him, during which time they are able to 'plug in' to his memory chip.

Kogonada (who also adapted the script from an Alexander Weinstein short story) isn't that interested in the hardware that makes up Yang, but, his inner "thoughts" - his very notion of existence (the science fiction elements are handled quite well). What's fascinating here is that this is truly a two-way interaction - the family is as tied emotionally to Yang as the robot is in its role as an adopted family member. Haley Lu Richardson plays Ada, another character who's questioning her own existential being.

AFTER YANG may seem like heavy going, but, Kogonada and the wonderful cast present the tale in a most simple, unaffected manner. Lessons aren't delivered, but experienced. Some of the most sublime moments are as simple as drinking a glass of water. The viewer takes from the movie what they bring to it. Kogonada leaves it up the audience to decide what Yang's very being represents -- and how humans will accept that autonomy.
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10/10
The aesthetics are incredible
thejdrage4 March 2022
The literal softness of the film is incredible ......... it floats you along in an Asian world you wished you lived in and gives you a story - ever so quietly - along the way.

And then it ends! And you're back in your reality! OH NO!

Join the ride!
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8/10
After Yang is a profound, sincere study of what it means to be a family, what it means to be loved, and how important it is to remember where we come from.
msbreviews21 February 2022
If you enjoy reading my Spoiler-Free thoughts, please follow my blog to read my full review :)

"After Yang may have some pacing issues, but Kogonada's beautifully thoughtful storytelling and ASKA's unforgettable, tear-inducing score transform this piece into a contemplative, inspirational cinematic experience.

A profound, sincere study of what it means to be a family, what it means to be loved, and how important it is to remember where we come from. A fascinating look into the core of humanity through the heart of a robot - both literally and figuratively.

Exceptional performances, but Colin Farrell stands out with a subtle yet potent performance. Occasionally, it loses itself amid its admittedly gorgeous wide, static shots.

Still memorable, nonetheless."

Rating: B+
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9/10
Strikes a chord
guskeller7 March 2022
After Yang sneaks thought into small moments. Although the narrative is straightforward, it examines complex themes. Set in the not-too-distant future, an android helps a family raise their child. The android suddenly malfunctions and the family struggles to get him working again. Along the way, their relationships evolve, they learn about the android's personal life, and their understandings of existence deepen. Existentialism, significance, and love are delicately considered, feeling genuine yet rich. Despite announcing very little, After Yang evokes powerful emotions that will have viewers contemplating what really matters. True to science fiction, the film is philosophical, psychological, and dramatic.

Meanwhile, After Yang's filmmaking is equally poised. The effects are sleek and supportive, adding fantastical touches to the subdued atmosphere. The music is tranquil and ambient, harmonizing the tone. The production blends naturalistic with futuristic, creating a relatable and optimistic world. The sound is peacefully environmental with dashes of technological. Plus, the cinematography is still and picturesque, subtly emphasizing simplicity. The visuals also utilize spacing, colors, and focus to suggest meaning. Lastly, the editing pairs calm pacing with abstract repetition, signifying importance. Overall, After Yang is a carefully crafted, substantial journey. It requires patience, but this film strikes a chord.

Writing: 9/10 Direction: 10/10 Cinematography: 9/10 Acting: 9/10 Editing: 10/10 Sound: 9/10 Score/Soundtrack: 8/10 Production Design: 9/10 Casting: 8/10 Effects: 8/10

Overall Score: 8.9/10.
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7/10
I think, therefore I am. I think I am.
Top_Dawg_Critic25 July 2022
It's a beautifully shot, well crafted, stylishly produced, perfectly scored and creatively written original film with. Casting and performances felt stale, albeit intentional. But it was the terribly slow pacing that made the normally comfortable 96 min runtime feel endless. This film wont be for everyone, and it barely was for me. However, it was stylish and interesting enough to keep me from dozing off, and for that, it's a well deserved 7/10 from me.
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1/10
Drab...
quietneeded5 March 2022
Got threw 3/4 th off the movie. It's slow and drab. Very boring. I was surprised, I normally like Colin Ferrell movies. It's a movie from a short story that should have just stayed short.
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1/10
Mumbling mmbling mumbling
sonybacker-214936 March 2022
Another clever movie in which nothing happens. It's one of those movies where you start using your phone and check the remaining time of the movie.

My recommendation is - please save 1:35 of your life and don't watch it.
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7/10
Cinema Omnivore - After Yang (2021) 6.7/10
lasttimeisaw11 March 2022
Warning: Spoilers
"The subjects AFTER YANG tackles and alludes to encompass a wide range from loss and bereavement, adoption and parenting to A. I. issues like the presumed mentality and philosophy of a sentient A. I. robot, the ethical yardstick in the highly controversial technology, and the trickiest one, the communication between a human and an android, where is the guideline here? Through a tête-à-tête between Jake and Yang about Chinese tea, the last subject is given a tentative answer, empathy is the key, while fully aware of Yang's non-human specificity, Jake can strike an emotional connection with him, a revelation could further blur the line that separates man and machine. Gradually, Jake accepts Yang as one of his children, and it also becomes his bereavement when the family must accept Yang's departure."

read my full review on my blog: Cinema Omnivore, thanks.
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4/10
Pretentious Correct Rubbish
bbv-692376 March 2022
Well acted directed etc. But that is not all a movie is - it is entertainment - not a subtle lecture about social values and diversity. The problem with this movie is that it takes for granted that all people will accept and like all the issues. But when you dislike one aspect in a movie like this, it is impossible to like the movie. This movie forces an all or nothing acceptance.
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5/10
Black Mirror for ArtHouse
yusufpiskin10 March 2022
I would like to say "It is a very good production about questioning human values through Artificial Intelligence..." but especially in the last 20 years, so much work has been done in the field of streaming, cinema and literature that Kogonada's film is a very solid cinematographer. And it offers nothing new to the audience other than a great Colin Farrell acting.

People who rated this movie highly may have never watched Black Mirror.
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8/10
After is the New Before
ThurstonHunger9 April 2022
I plan to read the Alexander Weinstein short story on this, perhaps I should have read it before instead of after. I suspect the story will have less layered topics than the film does. Of course there is an AI aspect and concomitant concepts of consciousness, but add into the mix foreign espionage in high-tech gadgets, grey tech markets, museums of plastinated flesh, adoption across cultures, and elements of classism. The futuristic world depicted does not necessarily feel alien, but definitely alienating.

I did watch Kogonada's "Columbus" before "Yang" and highly recommend that. I could see how fans of one film might really not care for the other. I enjoyed them both.

Looking at the poster for this film, we see the gaze of the cover family disconnected if not orthogonal. One memorable and very early scene deals with a WII-esque internet dance contest, it feels funny and funny beyond the dance moves. The synchronization of the dances, robotic if you will, contrasts with the family not necessarily at odds with each other, but certainly not aligned. Like a Norman Rockwell dinner table with everyone gazing at their cell phone perhaps?

If "Columbus" dealt with strangers connecting, this film shows a family in fracture. Whereas "Columbus" put emphasis on the QUEST for meaning, "After Yang" seems more about the quest for MEANING - and then the elusive if not empty nature of MEANING.

The film offers tea leaves for the viewer to read (if not to smell and to taste), but indicates that the world to come will prefer synthesized crystals instead.

Ultimately a Kogonada creation is still a gentle marvel to behold, luminous onscreen and "in screen" too as the players gaze at themselves, not just in mirror-like reflections of glass, but via a digital mirror as well.

The film feels like a capture of our transitory nature right now, and while not necessarily damning, it certainly lacks a James Tiberius Kirk faith in what once was human, now resigned to auto-complete and auto-pilot. That's where I differ, and I feel there are more worthwhile Afters ahead.
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9/10
Beautiful!
suuronenmiro29 January 2022
Absolutely loved this film.

So beautiful in many ways.

Unique science fiction drama with so much heart.

Very emotional.

Great story about loss, grief and technology.

Story about passions and human life too.

It's clear that After Yang is set in future but it isn't really shown or said lot in film itself.

Great performances.

Colin Farrel was really good.

It was also really great to see Haley Lu Richardson working with Kogonada again.

Beautiful looking film too.

Really great cinematography.

I probably need to see this film again to fully appreciate everything.

Beautiful experience.
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