Rating: 3.5/5 Stars (Three and half stars)
Star Cast: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo, Adam DeVine
Director: Nancy Meyers
What’s Good: After a long time, The Intern is a movie that lets you sit and enjoy its simplicity. Riding high on pathos and comedy, the film’s tone appeals the most, leaving you with a smile on your face as you leave the theater.
What’s Bad: The one thing works best for this film is also the worst for it. The story does not have any villainy elements or no gripping element to it and hence the plot seems too saccharine. At times in cinema when things are on-the-face, lacking the dramatic quality, there is a little disappointment.
Loo Break: No! I bet you won’t even realize.
A 70-year-old Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) starts off by quoting Sigmund Freud “Love and work, work and love, that’s all there is” as he takes on a new job. After working in the printing industry for 40 years, Ben, now a widower is tired of his boring life and intends to find a new job. He soon comes across Aboutthefit.com, an e-commerce site’s flyer for senior internship program which is literally meant for senior citizens. Sending a witty video as an application for the interview, Ben gets selected and assigned straight to the owner Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway) for work. While Jules has a scary impression at the office for her overworking nature, thanks to Ben’s nature and the age gap between them, Jules opens up to him and all her inhibitions lay open in front of him.
What starts off as an awkward work relationship turns into a beautiful friendship.
The Intern Review: Script Analysis
How often do we watch stories without any adulteration. There is either crime, sex or something negative to every film and well that is exactly what Nancy Meyers avoids in her film. Sure it may come across as ‘too good to be true’ but I would say life is too short to focus on the grey things in life. To make it colorful, The Intern remains an on-the-face film which doesn’t have dialogues but simple adult conversations.
Even though Ben is a 70 something, we don’t see him doll out life lessons. Written quirkily, the film does not involve a lot of theatrics to make up jokes and that works excellent for it. Divided into three acts, the film’s first act is all about the generation gap. It is not only Ben’s suit-wearing, briefcase carrying look but his gentlemanly behavior of lending a handkerchief that fascinates the young men in his office. Keen to learn ‘the classic’ moves, Ben soon becomes popular in office. The second act is Ben’s fling with the house masseuse Fiona (Rene Russo). This is one part in the script that could have been easily avoided. It does not drag much but could have altogether been avoided. The third act is the bonding between Jules and Ben and all about gender roles at work. Jules’ husband is a stay-at-home dad and the dynamics of their relationship are played out well in the story. The writer at no point tries to make the story gripping by adding textures to it; they let its emotions engage you into it.
What works amazingly is the portrayal of the attitude of non-working women towards a career-oriented mother at school. Also, just because Jules runs a site for clothing line for women, it does not make her work any less of a business. In one of the scenes, she mentions that being termed a ‘chicks site’ is unfair to draw her entrepreneurial value.
The loose ends in the story remain a little bit of stereotyping. Because Matt (Anders Holm) is a stay-at-home dad, he has to have problem with his wife’s high-flying career. His extra-marital affair seems too cliched for the story.
The Intern Review: Star Performance
Robert De Niro is a delight in the film. He proves it that he does not aways need a Scorsese written character to stand out. De Niro is a perfect fit as Ben who is extremely lovable and his character rides high on empathy. With age comes a grace and De Niro oozes of it in the film.
Anne Hathaway as Jules Ostin is quite a perfect fit as well. She shines in certain scenes, such as during the conversation she has with Ben over her fear of being buried alone in a grave amongst the singles section. The character is decently crafted and Anne perks up it with her act.
Adam DeVine as Jason does not get much screen-time hence he manages to do just fine in the film.
Rene Russo, other than looking luminous in the film performs with great ease. She emotes beautifully in the scene where Ben takes her out on a date at a funeral.
The Intern Review: Music, Direction
Nancy Meyers may not have given us brilliant films in her recent past but post Parent Trap, this is one of her film that needs to be lauded. Time and again we have seen that films which are more on the lighter side are easily underwhelmed and lack the credit that they need to be avoided. We often forget to applaud the good and always rave about the evil on-screen. With this film, I realized that just because it is not sinister or a superhero drama, that does not make it any less important.
Nancy Meyers direction is as usual picture perfect. Pick any of her films and you would instantly realize how perfect the houses are with vases on the side tables. She has the knack to portray life as is and hence it is a delight. She captures certain scene marvelously such as the one where Ben is trying hard to have a conversation with Jules over her cheating husband. Even a simple scene like Jules’ driver drinking and Ben confronting him over it are winners.
The film’s run time is tight and the two hours seem to pass quite happily. What irks a little is the hurried ending, not for the film but for Jules’ character. A few scenes such as Ben and the team breaking and entering Jules’ mom’s house to delete a nasty email she sends mistakenly, could have been easily avoided. They add comic value but do not match up to the quality of the film otherwise.
The Intern Review: The Last Word
The Intern is one of the best light-hearted, slice of life film, that you will come across in the recent time. Watch it for the brilliant performances and its feel good value. I am going with a 3.5/5 for the film.
The Intern Trailer
The Intern releases on 25th September, 2015.
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