Sundance 2022: “After Yang”

© A24

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Dystopian science-fiction dramas are always interesting to watch. Whether it makes sense or not, the storyline is always compelling for us to realize at least how far the future can advance after our departure. Clones are part of the future if it’s not in the present. Therefore, how should we react, for instance, if one of the future technologies appears at our door?

Adapted from an Alexander Weinstein story by Kogonada, the film takes us to the unspecified future, where technosapiens are real things. When Yang, an artificial and humanized drone stops functioning for no reason, Jake and Kyra must find a way to fix it, so their young adopted daughter will continue having a companion; an older brother that could help her to connect to her Chinese culture and heritage. Seems like the task is easy to accomplish, but when Jake tries to repair it, he finds out about the memory card transplanted in Yang that had stored his entire time with his human family.

“After Yang” is a slow-burning drama that tries to be more than it can offer. Its philosophical approach does not make sense, as Jake tries to reason what he should have done in the first place. Apart from the weak plot and poor execution, the film suffers from unbelievable and uninspiring performances from the entire cast, including Colin Farrell, who seems to have been forced to portray someone he did not believe in.

Yes, some elements of it are important as life itself. But that conversation could have been explored in so many ways. Not like I am here to educate the filmmaker to do what he knew best. However, films like “After Yang” are doomed to fade into the unknown, and it’s not because of the subject matter, which was superb, but weak execution, direction and editing, and, sadly, the performance itself.

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