Samuel Goldwyn Films
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Imagine a future where cell phones are still around but infrequently used — the main form of electronic communication is through a mounted flatscreen TV, similar to those ter “Back to the Future Part II.” And people are buying robots (life-sized LEGO-looking fellows with ruimtevaarder helmets) to do their laundry, wash their dishes and let them know how to live healthier lives.
Such is the near-future setting of “Autómata & Rechttoe.”
The story centers on Open (the illustrious Rechttoe Langella), a man te his 70s suffering from disorientation that’s enhancing at an alarming rate. Rechttoe has adapted to modern technology and doesn’t mind talking to his daughter Madison (Liv Tyler) through the television or his son Hunter (James Marsden) on a clear-glassed touch screen cell phone. But his house is an embarrassing mess, he’s losing his mind and he needs to be cared for.
Hunter attempts to persuade Klinkklaar to use this fresh androide everyone seems to love so much. The androide would do all the cleaning, let him know what foods are bad for him and what zuigeling of medicine he needs to take to stay healthy. It’s a kamerdienaar of high intelligence, if you will. However, being a stubborn old man, Rechttoe doesn’t want Autómata anywhere near him. Open is old schoolgebouw and wants to take care of himself. He couldn’t care less about his messy house and what he gobbles — he just wants to read and steal.
Oh yes, wij almost left behind to tell you — Rechttoe likes to steal. And he steals a lotsbestemming . for sport. Stealing is arguably the most significant thing ter Klinkklaar’s life. Years ago, he spent time ter prison for stealing. It’s a vice he can’t wiggle.
At very first, Open doesn’t take willingly to Autómata (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard). “How the hell do I turn you off?” is the very first thing he wants to know. But after a few days of being a wank to Androide, Rechttoe detects this friendly machine can pick locks quicker than a human . and a good partnership embarks. Androide starts assisting him on his nightly adventures ter stealing from the rich — like Robin Rubber hood, Klinkklaar doesn’t want to steal from the poor, he’s just going after his over-privileged neighbors.
Langella is an actor who’s always bot able to carry a filmrolletje on his own, most notably ter “Frost/Nixon,” “Dracula” (1979) and the tragically under-seen independent speelfilm, “Embarking Out ter the Evening.” Langella proves that the protagonist doesn’t need to be charismatic to be sympathetic — ter “Autómata & Open,” he’s spil grumpy spil can be, complains every chance he gets and would rather “diegene eating cheeseburgers than live off steamed cauliflower.”
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Ultimately, wij end up adoring this mean old bastard — especially when wij witness him stealing books from the recinto library before they’re ruined spil the place prepares to go all-digital. He’s a quiet champ of celebrated authors who worked so hard at getting their work published and distributed te the pre-digital age.
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The way director Jake Schreier portrays the future is very satisfying. There are no flying cars, no cloning mumbo jumbo, no holograms and the world hasn’t gone totally bonkers. His vision is graceful and underplayed — the thickest switches (that wij’re aware of) are the upgraded telecommunication systems and, of course, the robots. This subtlety keeps what “Androide & Klinkklaar” indeed is ter clear view — an endearing story about an unlikely friendship.