Humanity Shines in Profound "Robot Dreams"

Robot Dreams

Director: Pablo Berger
Studio: Neon
Genre(s): Drama
Rated: Not Rated

Pablo Berger’s “Robot Dreams” is the kind of old-fashioned film they don’t make anymore that speaks to the human condition in ways that are as surprising as they are profound. Who would have thought that a movie where a dog builds a robot companion would have so much to say about humanity's need for companionship, the moral destroyer that is loneliness, and the need to accept new circumstances as they arise? And the film does all of this without uttering a single word of dialog. Amazing.

The story: Dog lives a lonely life. He makes his TV dinners and watches his sitcoms. Yet, when he looks out the window, he sees others having fun with their friends/significant others/co-workers, and he decides to buy a robot for companionship (no parents, he’s not looking for THAT kind of companionship). When the built robot provides the companionship that Dog needs, life instantly becomes less lonely and more fun. Ah, but life is unpredictable and unkind in many ways, for one day Robot gets stuck on the beach, and through various circumstances, Dog can’t get to his friend until summer.

During that time life goes on. Things change. Dog meets new friends while Robot finds himself moved by bystanders who have access to the beach. Throughout the film, we hope the two friends are reunited, but then a funny thing happens: circumstances change for our protagonists. While there was no official fallout or anything, the two find their lives moving in different directions. It soon becomes apparent that the two reuniting isn’t as important near the end of the film as it was near the beginning.

“Robot Dreams” is a visually beautiful film that manages to tell a bittersweet story through visuals, and a few select 80s pop songs (the movie, I believe, is set in the 1980s), but aside from this impressive achievement, it speaks to the truth of change in life. In that people come and go, sometimes through circumstances outside our control, yet we persevere and adapt to those circumstances and are able to come out on the other end just as happy as we were before. Sometimes that means friends will exit our lives. Sad as that may be, there are new friends just around the corner. “Robot Dreams” is a wonderful film that uses dogs and robots to speak to profound human truths.