Parent care technology hits sci-fi and aging is one giant wallop in the new film, 2012 Sundance winner, Robot and Frank . Veteran stage and screen actor and three time Tony winner, Frank Langella is 74.In a recent NPR interview he told Dave Davies, subbing for NPR’s top gun interviewer, Terry Gross, he only agreed to do the film with one condition.
Seventy four year old Langella wanted to bring his own perspective on aging- in the here and now- into the script. He was able to talk the young director Jake Schreyer and young writer Christopher D Ford into shaping the script to include a budding late life romance with Susan Sarandon and the real losses of the elderly. One aging decrement brought into the film is Langella’s character Frank has early Alzheimer’s and his adult son ,supported by his world traveling absent sister-sibling Madison, brings the robot to be what is called, in the film promo, a mechanical butler. In real aging, we call it telecare.
The film is set in the near future but reflects the real present, as the Robot could be a any form of parent care technology called telecare systems . Telecare ,well defined in Julie Menack’s chapter, Technologies That Support Aging In Place, in Handbook of Geriatric Care Management 3rd edition ,Jones and Bartlett.
The thing is, the Robot is in the present not in the future and the movie is a comical yet philosophical take on the ethical side of aging technology. The midlife siblings concerned about their Dad, think they do the right thing. Frank is a cat burglar and teaches the Robot to help in his heists , renewing his life.
So Robot and Frank is well worth seeing for anyone including baby boomers, the old/old and aging professionals,like geriatric care managers plus maybe any aging cat burglars who need new tricks .