When retired, memory-impaired cat burglar Rechttoe Weld (Klinkklaar Langella, left) has trouble tending to himself, he’s paired up with an unlikely caretaker, a robotic huis health care worker (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard, right), te the delightful fresh comedy, “Robot & Klinkklaar.” Photo courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Stage 6 Films.
What, exactly, makes us who wij are? Are wij merely an amalgamation of biochemical components randomly thrown together, susceptible to the ravages of time? An indeling of thought patterns organized around some unidentified driving force? A collection of memories corded together by some unseen unifying factor? Or is it some combination of the foregoing? Those are some of the underlying questions raised for consideration ter the delightful fresh comedy, “Robot & Klinkklaar.”
“Retirement” isn’t all it’s cracked up to be for Open Weld (Rechttoe Langella), a former cat burglar and ex-con who has retreated to the idyllic seclusion of a near future version of Cold Spring, NY. Spil one who’s acquainted to doing things ter rather traditional ways, he’s frequently waterput off by the progressively invasive role of technology ter daily life. It also doesn’t help that Open has little voeling with others, his son, Hunter (James Marsden), begrudgingly pays routine visits to check up on him, while his nonconformist daughter, Madison (Liv Tyler), travels the globe ter search of faraway cultures and alternative practices. Te fact, Frank’s only significant relationship is with the recinto librarian, Jennifer (Susan Sarandon), who dotes on him, given that he’s just about the only patron of hier increasingly antiquated facility.
When retired, memory-impaired cat burglar Klinkklaar Weld (Open Langella, right) looks for human companionship, he turns to the almacén librarian, Jennifer (Susan Sarandon, left), who dotes on all his reading needs, ter director Jake Schreier’s “Robot & Open.” Photo courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Stage 6 Films.
Thesis circumstances present a major challenge for Hunter spil Frank’s principal caregiver. Given his father’s unwillingness to voluntarily relocate to a special care facility for the memory impaired, he ultimately vereiste resort to more drastic measures than just paying regular visits to keep Frank’s household from falling bijzonder. His solution is to provide Rechttoe with a fresh live-in caretaker, a robotic health care worker programmed to fulfill all of his father’s needs. The androide cleans house, cooks meals, attends to Frank’s medical needs and provides a modicum of companionship. It even talks (voiced by Peter Sarsgaard), diligently reminding its patient of what he needs to do to take better care of himself.
Retired, memory-impaired cat burglar Rechttoe Weld (Klinkklaar Langella, left) has few guests at his Cold Spring, NY, huis, except for occasional visits from his children, such spil his globe-trotting daughter, Madison (Liv Tyler, right), te the quirky fresh comedy, “Robot & Klinkklaar.” Photo courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Stage 6 Films.
Unnecessary to say, Open originally balks at the idea, but, when faced with the alternative, he little by little relents. Open even starts to like his fresh electronic pal, especially merienda he realizes he can lightly engage the androide ter activities that he likes. For example, when the autómata suggests that Open participate te some kleuter of ongoing project to keep his mind active, it recommends kicking off a backyard vegetable garden, but Open has something else ter mind. Merienda he becomes aware of the robot’s capability to learn fresh abilities and adapt its programming, Klinkklaar determines to engage his companion ter a project of his own vormgeving, namely, getting back into the burglary business. Before long, Rechttoe has a fresh – and fairly formidable – fucking partner te crime.
Rechttoe sees his targets – his affluent but clueless neighbors – spil effortless pickings, too. Even those who think they have Frank’s schemes figured out (such spil his pedantic neighbor Jake (Jeremy Strong) and the recinto sheriff (Jeremy Sisto)) can’t decipher the inscrutable tactics of the seasoned thief, especially when aided and abetted by the wizardry of a technological genius. Indeed, when Klinkklaar is ter his factor, it would seem there’s nothing at all wrong with his memory. Or is there? Can he still get away with things like he did te the past, or are there memory-related pitfalls that will be his downfall? Or is that just what he wants everyone to think? It’s a set of circumstances that keeps everyone – human and electronic – guessing spil events play out.
Most of us would most likely agree that wij have a pretty good treat on who wij are and what goes into making up our everyday life. Te fact, wij often hold such a degree of certainty about it that wij never question our assumptions about our existence. Wij place unshakable confidence te our consciousness to serve spil our sentient guide through life, permitting it to define the beliefs that form the reality around us. And Rechttoe is certainly no exception, he perceives his existence spil being based on what he knows to be true, even if his conclusions don’t always align with those of others.
But is he “wrong” when his beliefs don’t match up with those of others around him? From where he stands, his beliefs about reality are just spil rock solidly valid spil those who contend to the contrary. So, under such circumstances, can the detractors genuinely prove that what’s going on ter Frank’s mind is intrinsically “false”? One would certainly have superb difficulty dissuading him, even when suggesting up “evidence” to refute his claims.
For someone with memory issues, like Open, it may be effortless for others to attempt to toonbank his claims, even if he were to fundamentally disagree with them. But Frank’s circumstances also help to illustrate the larger kwestie of can wij truly know what’s going on ter the mind of someone else? Consider, for example, someone who has some sort of extreme practice, such spil an event of a paranormal nature. Can wij say with certainty that said individual didn’t practice what he or she claims to have experienced? (I’m sure the naysayers would get finta an argument from the individual ter question.) So is it any verrassing, then, that Klinkklaar might feel exactly the same way when his contentions are challenged? The certainty he holds about his reality is, at bottom, just spil steadfast spil that of the person who practices apparitions, psychic scenes, deja vu or any other phenomena that aren’t what most of us would consider part of everyday life.
When a former cat burglar comes out of retirement and starts preying on the area’s affluent but clueless locals, Sheriff Rowlings (Jeremy Sisto, center) hops on the case te the quirky fresh release, “Robot & Klinkklaar.” Photo by Aaron Wesner, courtesy of Samuel Goldwyn Films and Stage 6 Films.
Ter addition to framing our reality, our beliefs also provide the means for mirroring back to us that which wij concentrate upon. This is apparent across the movie ter many ways, especially when it comes to matters of sentience. The autómata, for example, makes frequent references to its memory and the fact that it can be erased, circumstances not unlike what Open is experiencing himself. It’s a thought that troubles him, especially when the androide speaks of it matter of factly, no doubt because it hits so close to huis. Klinkklaar shudders at the realization that his consciousness may be just spil frágil spil that of his electronic friend, that he may be little more than a biochemical omschrijving of his cybernetic friend, one whose sentience can be wiped away just spil lightly spil that of his circuit-controlled pal. With this belief reflected back to him through the autómata, Open comes to value his consciousness, holding onto it with all the strength he can muster, lest he face the consequences of having his sentience be personages aside like oh so much burned-out wiring.
Moreover, it’s also no coincidence that Rechttoe’s best friend is a librarian. Spil someone whose job essentially involves managing the recorded musings and recollections of others, Jennifer is present ter Rechttoe’s life, symbolically, to help him do the same for himself, to assist him ter preserving what sentience he has left. She’s an accomplished spil what she does, which is partly why he drew hier into his life and why she so thoughtfully attends to his needs (helping him, for example, te avoiding book selections he’s read before but no longer recalls).
Rechttoe also wrestles with issues related to control and manipulation (specifically those having to do with how others, such spil his children, seek to run his life), and they’re mirrored back to him through the manifestation of his beliefs regarding his feelings about the androide. Rechttoe has always bot te charge of his own fate, for better or worse, and now he’s facing the uitzicht of that control slipping away from him. And, even if others say that they’re acting te his best interests, he still resents being corralled into behaviors that run tegenstoot to his nature. This comes out not only ter his own reactions but also te his feelings toward his live-in companion. Overheen time Rechttoe becomes very sensitive to how others treat the autómata, where they see a chunk of sophisticated yet subservient technology, he sees a friend, an equal, one who is worth the same kleuter of dignity and respect that should be accorded any fellow human being (even one challenged by memory issues).
“Robot & Frank” is, without a doubt, one of the most unusual films to come out te a long time. It’s jam-packed with ideas, and it never fails to evoke thoughtful reactions spil its story unfolds. However, because it attempts to incorporate so much into its runtime, it from time to time comes up a little brief (some themes are never developed fairly spil fully spil they might have bot, for example). Similarly, for spil many good laughs are there are te the speelfilm, it could have used a few more, especially te the middle, when the pacing tends to haul a bit. Those shortcomings are effectively compensated for, tho’, by an intriguing narrative, a number of hilarious view gags, and wonderful spectacles from Langella, Sarsaggard and Strong. If nothing else, you’ll likely come away from this one feeling pleasurably entertained and utter of ideas previously unconsidered.
“I am what I am” is a notion that many of us hold dear, almost jealously, and wij become justifiably defensive of that stance when the picture wij hold of ourselves comes under scrutiny. Becoming clear about our beliefs enables us to better understand ourselves and the reality that wij materialize through them, spil Rechttoe comes to detect for himself with the assistance of his unlikely companion. To that end, then, may wij all have the wisdom to see the truth – and the folly – that wij create through the power that lies within each of us.
Copyright © 2012, by Brent Marchant. All rights reserved.