After Yang

Massive sadness is sweeping the globe right now. There’s the loss of ways of life that have changed, probably forever, and the societal differences shown by the pandemic.

Coronado’s “After Yang” examines death and grief in a new way. Saying Goodbye to Yang is one of the most current science fiction films I’ve ever seen.

Many futuristic visions feel remote, but “After Yang” hits home in how it focuses connection and experience. It’s a dramatic, emotional play about living.

A “techno sapient” exists in this future. Imagine an android version of Alexa, a friend who can help around the house, acquire new habits, and even connect your adopted child to her culture. Parents Jake (Colin Farrell) and Kyra (Jodie Turner-Smith) hoped for it when they bought Yang (Justin H. Min) (Maleah Emma Tjandrawidjaja). Yang joined the family. Then Yang fell.

However, because Jake acquired Yang used rather than new, locating his warranty and even the original vendor is difficult. It takes him to an underground parts vendor who erases Yang’s memory. The designers were testing a device that allowed the androids to capture crucial moments in time. This memory reminds me of a nice time with Mika, something beautiful in nature, a sound bite, etc. These passages have an indelible impression when you truly think about it.

Imagine seeing through the eyes and recollections of a loved one. What did they think was worth recording? What did they care? How did they see you? As Jake works to save Yang, he learns about his past, including a romance with Ada (Haley Lu Richardson), who has her own shocking narrative.

Also, Yang’s life with his family is shown in flashbacks. Kogonada employs a three-dimensional aspect ratio to differentiate perspectives in his films. In one of Jake’s most important memories, Yang asks his father how he became involved in the tea industry. In fact, Jake claims that he doesn’t enjoy the taste of it at all, but rather the whole process of steeping, smelling, and consuming it. However, Yang has a vast knowledge of the history of tea, yet he is unable of being pre-programmed with what truly captivates Jake. Furthermore, Coronado continues to expand on the film’s haptic feel throughout the entire running time. In this science fiction picture, mother nature takes precedence over technology. For a science fiction novel, “After Yang” has a unique scent and feel. In this regard, it was reminiscent of Andrei Tarkovsky’s films.

In performance, Kogonada combines polished artistry with a very humanistic streak. And he can play big-budget roles like “The Batman” as well as lesser roles like this. A perfect blend of pain, annoyance, and doubt. But he also wants Yang for Jake.

When Yang’s memories appear to be on public display, he wonders what is proper when remembering loved ones. What do we keep? What do we have in common? The film is grounded in Farrell’s insight of how much we will continue to search for those elusive parts of existence that cannot be replicated in a lab. It’s a nuanced performance matched by the entire cast, including Sarita Choudhury and Clifton Collins Jr.

“After Yang” is dreamlike. It’s in the manner ASKA and Ruchi Sakamoto’s music envelops Yang’s recollections. This idea of a world not our own but not too distant away is a popular dreamscape backdrop. The film’s serious questions culminate in a flashback scene where Kyra and Yang discuss what’s next. Yang has no belief system, even stating “There is no something without nothing.” Is life the nothing after the something? “What the caterpillar calls the end, the rest of the world calls a butterfly,” he says in this moment. His perceptions of reality are evolving and growing, from his coding to humanity’s imprecision, like an excellent tea. We are.

This review is from the Sundance Film Festival debut. The movie will come out in March 2022.