Making the Grades
It's 2005, and having a robot is the latest craze in keeping up with the Jones's - or in this case the Martins. When the family purchases Andrew (Robin Williams), their latest appliance, his polished steel exterior looks just like the thousands of other robots made at NorthAm Robotics. But somewhere inside he is very different. In addition to the normal household tasks he's programmed to do, Andrew enjoys listening to classical music and is capable of creating art. These indications of higher intelligence lead Mr. Martin (Sam Neill) to believe that Andrew is capable of learning much more.
As Andrew's knowledge increases, so does his desire to integrate with the human race. Robots' lives have no time limitations however, and the courts decide that's reason enough to deny him human status. As the years pass (close to 150 years from the day he arrived in a box at the Martin home), Andrew watches those he loves die. The loneliness he feels leads him to use the technologies of the future to fit his body with artificial organs, and eventually blood, a deteriorating substance, that will allow him to become mortal.
Bicentennial Man will appeal to teens that enjoy sci-fi, but parents should note that Andrew's quest to become human includes the desire to have a sexual relationship. His enthusiasm for his newly installed functions leads to some sexual discussions. Eventually falling in love, he begins having a relationship but is frustrated that he cannot marry due to his "unhuman" status.
Based on a short story by science fiction master Isaac Asimov, this movie represents a part of the genre we don't see often enough. There are no ray guns or space ships, instead it just makes us consider what it would be like to live forever. Bicentennial Man is effective at pointing out how fortunate we are to have a life worth dying for.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Bicentennial Man.
If given the opportunity, would you want to live forever? Why or why not? What would you do with an infinite life span? Do you believe that science or technology can create new life forms?