Going Forward 200 Years - Bicentennial Man


Reviewing a movie shown since 1999 would be a confusing one for you our readers.  Yes, Bicentennial Man was shown 1999 and for most you, you might not have been born yet.  Although this maybe the case, it still noteworthy to resurrect the same.  With the advent of Netflix, this movie was resurrected from whence it was kept.  It made us realize that we need drum up interest for this wonderful movie by Isaac Asimov.

The cast is headed by Andrew (A name given to the lead character who's a robot by its first master).  Played by the legendary actor Robin Williams, although known as a comedian, he brought to light Andrew's character to humanly heights.  No mean feat to impersonate a robot who wants to be a human.

During the early part of the film we are shown his "robotic" faults, maybe there's something wrong with his programming or severed neuron wires, he was showing human traits.  These baffled his owner Sir Richard Martin (played by Sam Neill) and one of these instances was Andrew carving out a wooden toy for Litte Miss, Martin's daughter.  A robot can replicate a toy to a T provided that a template is provided.  In Andrew's case there was no template, it was from sheer memory that he was able to create one.  Making him regard Andrew as human and he finally "taught" how to be one.


In this film, it came to a point where "freedom" was discussed.  We are so used to be free that we don't know what it is to be one until the film elaborated how to have one's freedom.  Of what responsibilities that entail to maintain such freedom.

After freedom, Andrew learned the value of mortality.  He realized that humans eventually wither and die.  He saw his love ones age and eventually were no longer with him.  It then propelled him to search for immortality for humans.  With his AI getting smarter, he partnered with an engineer and proceeded to create himself as a human.  In the process has helped the humans to prolong life and eradicate some of the body's frailties.

Its a bummer when your AI brain got smarter and smarter, he develops emotions and love.  Yes a robot with feelings, yet when he tries to express this, the humans took this trait lightly.  One such case is when he met Little Miss' grand daughter Portia.  He got into euphoria when he is with her, and went in a jealous fit when Portia was engaged.  All this while, his programming was still in robotic state.  Portia meanwhile has feelings for Andrew as well but couldn't commit to him because he is still a "robot".  Even with technological advancements made to upgrade Andrew's body, he was still stymied by his programming.


What Sir Richard Martin teaching him to be human, its was still short of success.  It was Portia who finally completed his AI training.  Andrew understood how irrational humans are and finally went over the hill and had "human" thinking.  Of course with the help of technology, Andrew had human feeling skin and was able to feel how a kiss would feel and eventually able to have sex.

Like in all happy endings, Portia fell in love with Andrew, however society still would not grant them the sanctity of marriage.  He was still regarded as a robot and robots don't age and die.  As his love for Portia is great, he proceeded to prolong her life as he possibly can.  With the realization brought about by the world leaders and with Portia's prodding, he understood that humans would eventually "die".  He then did the unthinkable.  When most people would value the immortality he possess, he made modifications to his body to degrade and eventually "die".

The last parts of the film truly is a game changer for the viewer.  We have seen his struggles with his quest to be human yet we as humans don't value it as much as he is.  This is what made this film strong and watchable in my viewpoint.  The film invokes a lot of ideas to its viewers and gives us another perspectives on our lives as well.

I do hope that this review sits well with you and watch the film.  I was not paid by Netflix nor I endorse them outright.  I am only pushing for the film and I hope you can get a copy of it.