The meaning of the movie Finch” with Tom Hanks. The film “Finch” was shot in 2021 by director Miguel Sapochnik, returning after 12 years from the serial medium to feature films. The project is made in the format of a sentimental post-apocalyptic road movie. There are neither the horrors of the end of the world, nor the charismatic loner – the savior of mankind. The key character of the fantastic story is an ordinary person, a software engineer named Finch. He is played by the unrivaled Thomas Jeffrey Hanks. The actor is famous for his scrupulousness in choosing roles. This circumstance alone attracts the attention of the audience to the picture. Hanks managed to create a vivid image of a positive, intelligent and educated person who is looking for a way to survive in a new environment in a way that is accessible to him.
A talented roboticist creates an artificial friend capable of rapid self-learning. The main directives of the robot: never harm a person and always take care of a dog. Jeff is somewhat similar to both the charming WALL-E Andrew Stanton and the child prodigy Chappie from Neil Blomkamp’s film. Yes, and the main idea of the authors of film projects is similar: does this platform have a soul? Can a “divine spark” be born in a machine programmed for certain actions, perceiving external signals and adapting its behavior? This question about AI, which is emphasized in science fiction cinema and in computer games like Mass Effect, is quite global. In a narrower vein, the misunderstanding between human and robot in Finch has echoes of parent-child issues.
Another companion Finch is a cute dog named Goodyear. The four-legged friend, who brightens up loneliness and brings the joy of communication, was excellently played by the brown-eyed Irish terrier Sheamus. The idea of this character is that a man worries about the behavior of his pet in the harsh conditions of a hot desert, with its dead landscapes and sandstorms. At one time there was such a film “A guy and his dog” by L.K. Jones, where the main character roamed the scorched earth with a very smart dog. Here, Finch creates a mechanical dog for his biological friend, a la Boston Dynamics.
So, the last scientist on Earth with the mind and ingenuity approached the problem of survival. A company of a human, two robots and an animal hopes to find a new place for themselves in a ruined world. They choose California: they load up their RV and embark on a perilous trip to San Francisco.
The viewer is informed about the causes of the apocalypse tangentially and closer to the end of the story. The world was burned by a climate catastrophe, which is described as a solar flare. The earth is heated to 140 degrees, the surviving people are hiding from the hell in the wreckage of St. Louis. Finch adapted the suit to go to the surface from his home – an old wind turbine that can still generate electricity. It becomes more and more difficult to do this day by day: an elderly man is terminally ill, coughing up blood. The looted supermarkets are running out of food. Another months-long hurricane is approaching, its destructive power this time can be disastrous.
The story told by Miguel Sapochnik does not at all pretend to be science fiction or an action adventure about a hero in a post-apocalyptic world (as in the films Mad Max, I Am Legend, Rogue One, The Book of Eli). The creators demonstrate a sketch on the theme “the last man on Earth”, shot in the best traditions of PIXAR author’s light and sad short films.
The character of Tom Hanks is someone who knows how to find a solution to any problem and a way out of any situation. The severity of loneliness of an adequate and positive-minded person who is looking for a way not to go crazy is shown. At the same time, he uses all his life experience, an arsenal of knowledge and useful skills. It is symbolic that the name of the main character is Finch. Translated from English means “finch”. This is an inconspicuous forest bird that leaves its edges as soon as it starts to freeze (chill). A troublesome songstress cannot live alone. Finches gather in flocks, sing a lot, long and loudly, drowning out everyone else.
The basic idea of a simple plot seems a little naive, but at the same time quite logical. Here is the equation: Apocalypse + Death of civilization = Man is a wolf to man in the true manifestation of the essence of natures. Yes, that is right. But the answer may be different: Do not cross paths with anyone! Do not contact anyone! To exist separately, “harmonizing” oneself – with music, books, deeds. Robotics is the profile profession of an elderly sick man who comes to his aid in an almost hopeless situation. Finch finds spark and perhaps hope for something better in a robot that is unburdened by the past and ready to look to the future with optimism.
Charming and sincere cinema sends the audience to simple and humanistic truths, doing it with a soul and a kind heart. One of the best and most charming actors in America, a cute dog and a naive robot plunge into the world of “family” cinema and are able to melt our hearts. At the end, Don McLean sings the familiar song “So, bye-bye, Miss American. Pie” and invites – “Must see”.