Sunday, September 9, 2012

MOVIE REVIEW: Robot and Frank

Directed by: Jake Schreier
Written by: Christopher D. Ford

Cast: Frank Langella, James Marsden, and Susan Sarandon

Geezer power seems to be the new flavor in films. Well, you think about it, Hollywood's got a bunch of former megastars and not enough space for character actors. With an aging bunch of Baby Boomers, why not give these folks some leading roles? The audience can certainly identify.

Frank & Robot is one futuristic film which is thankfully not completely dystopic. In this near future, the elderly can have personal robots who'll help get them involved in activities, see to their diets, even give them an enema. And, in the case of Frank, if the seniors are enterprising enough, help them pull off jewel thefts.

Humor and pathos mix beautifully in this short character piece. Langella does a smashing job portraying the aging Frank, who's still fiendishly clever. Despite recently having read Robopocalypse, I couldn't help having some sympathy for the robot as well. The relationship between patient and caregiver here was a fascinating one to watch. I personally would not mind having this kind of helper and life-coach around.

As a librophile, there's an interesting take on future libraries, which was somewhat saddening when I realized all but the most valuable books would be recycled. Imagine coming to a day where people do not remember reading books--and folks like us who have are retro? I guess that might be sooner than we think, though I still believe many people will still have a fondness for the feel and smell of leather and the heft of a beautifully bound volume in their hands.

This was a charming film and a delightful way to spend a quiet Sunday afternoon. I doubt if I would own the DVD: however, I would probably watch this film again if it came on television.

Rebecca McFarland Kyle, September 2012

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