Colin Farrell, Jodie Turner-Smith, Justin H. Min, Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, Haley Lu Richardson
A family is dealing with the loss of their family member, Yang. The father Jake (Colin Farrell) is consoling his wife and daughter as he himself begins to break down over the loss. The loss isn’t of flesh and blood relative, but a flesh and blood AI robot that has spent a part of his life with them. As Jake goes from third party repair to another, he is told since Yang was purchases “Refurbished” that it would be next to impossible to salvage him. But in searching for a way, Jake discovers that Yang has a unique memory bank stored with past lives he led before Jake and his family.
This is one of the first films I watched this Sundance, and for the most part I really enjoyed the introspective look into what life is, where it begins, and how to quantify it when compared to a life-like computer. It’s a slow burn, so if you are looking for something comparative to Ex Machina or iRobot think more like Her, or Lars and the Real Girl. There is some great world building in this that makes everything feel immersive and like it really could exist. The genius points for me were in subtly poking at how the tech industry finds many loopholes around caring for and repairing your devices. The main issues surrounding this family getting Yang back online comes directly as a result of the way Yang was purchased and the rules around repairing him.