Robot butler, these two words are enough to sell any film to me. Add to the mix an ex jewel thief who convinces said robot butler to carry out a heist with him and I’m in my own film heaven.
Above is the very basic premise of Robot & Frank but believe me there’s a lot more to it than you might think.
You see Frank is old, rude and set in his ways, that much you can gather from the trailers but what they don’t tell you is that Frank is ill too and more than likely has Alzheimer’s. This is important as it adds a whole other level to the film that I wasn’t expecting.
This plot point adds a lot of emotion to proceedings and sets up a pretty decent twist at the end which although I was kind of expecting, it still had me fighting back the tears and trying my best to act as manly as possible. Again, I was not expecting this from a film with a robot butler in it.
Drama aside, it is a very funny film too due to mainly the chemistry between Frank and Robot which seems like a strange thing to say now I think about it but it really does work.
Frank Langella or as I like to call him, Skeletor, puts in such a great performance here and whilst the film has a a strong cast in Susan Sarandon, James Marsden, Peter Sarsgaard and Liv Tyler, it’s his performance that really drives the film forward.
The writing by Christopher D. Ford is impressive and it is refreshing to see a film pretty much filled with three dimensional characters who you can like one scene and hate the next.
His screenplay has so many layers to it and throughout the film you are never quite sure as to where it will take you next which creates real suspense toward the end. As this seems to be Fords first major film I have not seen any of his other work but will defiantly be looking out for it in the future.
A change of pace from the onslaught of remakes and sequels that are about to be released, Robot & Frank is the first truly great film that I have seen this year, filled with wit, originality and a robot butler. What more could you want?