One of the cruelest, heart-wrenching, valid portraits of grief, loss of a loved one, on today’s screen; it is the future and the family of three is suffering from the disintegration of a fourth member, of what was a nuclear brood; “Yang” (Justin H. Nin) an android, constant companion of “Mika” (Malea Emma Tajandrawidjaja) is loved and held dear by her and her parents “Jake” (Colin Farrell) and “Krya” (Jodie Turner-Smith); as Yang lingers in hospice, Jake seeks curative tools to satiate his daughter’s longing for her brother/friend; his quest, lays bare his flawed familial relationships, lackluster core, fruitless life; achingly, emptiness, torment gives birth to introspection and Yang’s memories. Director/writer Kogonada shrouds “After Yang” in a landscape of surreal beauty, but the lushness does little to alleviate the palpable pain oozing from every protagonist. The fine intelligence reverberating throughout the film, recumbent in the fact that no matter the era, innate feelings inform man and remain intransigent, regardless of cloning, technological facilitation; a child loves a doll with the fervency of a parent; an adult can manifest the same passion for a plastic facsimile (“Lars and the Real Girl”) as the genuine, pulsating model.
“After Yang” explores and questions the sensibilities of an android; are they capable of feelings, memories or just mimicking their makers? Kogonada’s universality, rumination challenges viewers to consider possibilities, yet, undiagnosed; sadness, with a dollop of hope lingers long after the credits evaporate and light and life resurface.
THREE & ½ STARS!!!