The journey of life itself is a subject that has been portrayed several times in a variety of stories. The meaning of existence is an incredibly relatable topic that countless creators have attempted to dissect over the years. These explorations may not always be masterpieces but they are still often able to be quite emotionally moving. Written and directed by Kogonada, After Yang is a pensive portrayal of the human experience. Bringing forth a number of poignant ideas, it succeeds in many ways despite its thin narrative.
Following the death of a young child’s android companion, her father does everything in his power to repair the lost friend. The parental figure is played by Colin Farrell. The supporting cast includes Jodie Turner-Smith, Justin H. Min, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja and Haley Lu Richardson.
After Yang is more about its answers than it is about the questions that precede them. The narrative itself is very simple and the actions being taken are easy to follow. However, the discoveries along the way and how they are presented make this a film that has been constructed exceptionally beautifully.
Shot with the mesmerising visuals of Benjamin Loeb’s cinematography, the sombre tone of the picture works perfectly in service of the story’s purpose. A celebration of life, relationships and love, After Yang will leave many viewers teary-eyed as it conveys a tour of existence. Truthfully, the end of certain character arcs almost feel unnecessary as it is the middle of the journey that is the most effective. The plot itself isn’t as strong as it wants to be but the meaning behind it has enough power to conjure a quality experience.
Each actor is rather wonderful in their roles. Colin Farrell quietly delivers a performance filled with subtle emotion. As the heart of the events taking place, Justin H. Min proves his talent as well. Altogether, the ensemble is a united force that elevates every single scene.
The prime positive of this film is how it delivers certain montages. Uniquely, it threads together moments that last just a few seconds. As a whole, these sequences display the passage of time and the most special occasions within them. Set to Aska Matsumiya and Ryuichi Sakamoto’s simple score, these montages are not only built into the technology of the world but are also exquisite storytelling devices.
After Yang is the type of movie that will stick with you for a while after you watch it. Its excellence shines through in almost every element and it is incredibly well-made. For fans of dramatic tales set in a sci-fi world, this should be the next film on the watch list.