A family goes through quiet turmoil in After Yang, the latest from writer/director Kogonada.

Jake’s family was pretty strong, or so he thought. He and his wife, daughter, and android were rolling along until the latter experienced mechanical problems and Jake had to make hard decisions about his future. Is the android necessary? Would they all spin apart without him? And more mysteriously, what does the android want?

source: Sundance Film Festival, A24

I wouldn’t expect too heavy a plot from this one. It looks like a thinking man’s science fiction film, which fits right in with what I expect from Kogonada. He made the layered, gorgeous film Columbus, which was the kind of movie where you wallow in emotions and ponder the big questions. It was a debut so striking that he got funding for this very peculiar genre film and landed an excellent cast.

Colin Farrell is Jake, the dad trying to sort out the mess, who can brood with the best of them. Jodie Turner-Smith, who was great in Queen & Slim, plays the mother while The Umbrella Academy’s Justin H. Min is the malfunctioning android. The only question mark in the cast is young newcomer Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja as the daughter, but it’s unclear how much weight she’ll have to carry in this film.

For those who saw Columbus, you know that casting is key in Kogonada’s character-heavy films, but so is the director’s assured style, which shows off his deep film knowledge without falling into the trap of intellectual distance. Columbus pulled from Ozu while exploring familial ties. I can’t wait to see where he’ll pull from for a meditative science fiction outing.

After Yang is directed by Kogonada and stars Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, and Justin H. Min. It will be released in the US on March 4th, 2022. For international release dates, click here.

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