Bicentennial Man Review – A Better Enthiran, That’s All

(Whoops, we almost forgot to acknowledge Boops here)

I’d rather die a man rather than live for an eternity as a machine.
– Robin Williams’ character Andrew Martin in the closing minutes of Bicentennial Man (1999)

As all but the schmucks know, the recent Tamil blockbuster Enthiran was a piece of shit badly regurgitated from a bunch of Hollywood films by a jackass director to entertain a few million hominoids.

And by God, it worked. Like gibbons in front of a banana bunch, the excited, gibbering hominoids lapped up Enthiran, Rajinikanth, Aishwarya Rai and all.

So today when a SI habitue suggested Bicentennial Man with sly hints of a connection to Enthiran, we quickly picked up the gauntlet. Plus, Bicentennial Man was easily accessible via Netflix Instant Play.

By Hollywood standards, Bicentennial Man is a long movie at 131-minutes.

Based on an Isaac Asimov short story, Bicentennial Man features Robin Williams in the central role of a freak robot that through a programming quirk is able to adapt and learn from its human owners.

As its title suggests,Bicentennial Man spans 200 years in the life of a robot who turns into a ‘human’ by the end of the movie.

In a metallic-looking robot suit and wide open eyes, Robin Williams does an okayish but not outstanding job within the bounds of a script that slowly slides from the pretty decent at the beginning to the pretty disappointing toward the end.

The last 30 or 40 minutes seemed as if director Chris Columbus was in fast-forward mode to hit the two-century mark that he couldn’t be bothered to keep up the class act.

We suddenly see flying cars, the lack of a build-up to the romance, the inadequate representations of the feelings of the robot as it slowly develops human-like qualities, emotions and appearance and, of course, the crude, crass ending.

The weakness of its script in the last 30 minutes or so notwithstanding, we’d still classify Bicentennial Man as a watchable film compared to the orgy of stupidity that Enthiran turned out to be.

Redeeming qualities in Bicentennial Man include, to repeat what we said earlier, a decent hour or so, okayish acting and lots of nice, witty lines in the film, almost all of it uttered through the mouth of the robot.

Like the time when once confronted with Little Miss’ young ill-behaving son Lloyd throwing sand on his book, Andrew (the robot) mutters:

One understands why some animals eat their young.

Or some 16 years later when referring to the now grownup Lloyd, he asks rhetorically:

Did he not breastfeed?

Or when he says after his first fart:

I’ll have to ask Rupert to make me a muffler.

But a few cute lines or a partially good movie that loses its moorings and goes adrift does not a great entertainer make.

Only leaves you sadly shaking your head in regret at the lost opportunity.

It was as if director Chris Columbus embarked upon a Forrest Gump of a robotic drama but abandoned the effort half-way leaving Bicentennial Man to meander to its ho-hum conclusion.

23 Responses to "Bicentennial Man Review – A Better Enthiran, That’s All"

  1. vjcool   January 10, 2011 at 2:31 am

    yup have to admit, the film disappoints, but the makers have tried hard… might be low by the Hollywood standards or even by the scope of the story.. but we cant say anything about enthiran.

    I’m at a loss of words to even describe Enthiran because I never expected anything out of it to feel even disappointment. It’s the same with AI and I robot .. out of the three AI is best as it involves Kubrick and Spielberg Responds:

    We don’t think we’ve seen AI (though lately excessive tippling is taking such a toll on our memory that …….).

    I Robot was, of course, like Bicentennial Man, one of the ‘inspirations’ for Enthiran.

    • Filmlover   January 10, 2011 at 11:06 pm

      Hi SI,

      Don’t miss A.I. One of the best works of Steven Spielberg. Responds:


  2. iamthechampion007   January 10, 2011 at 11:11 am

    My List of favourite English Movies are “Forrest Gump”, “The Good the Bad and The Ugly”, “Little Manhattan”, “12 Angry Men”, “Rain Man”, “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind”, “Psycho(1960)”, “Forrest Gump”, “The Life is Beautiful (Italian)”, “Ben-Hur (1959)”, “The Sixth Sense”, “The Truman Show”, “Rope (1948)”, “The Shawshank Redemption” and “Home Alone”…………….I know u’ve watched some of these movies…do watch the rest and review them……….waitin 4 it…………and pls don’t forget abt “Do Dooni Chaar”……………….. Responds:

    We’ve reviewed some of the movies in your list (Forrest Gump, 12 Angry Men, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly).

    Do a search and you’ll find them.

    • 1012900   January 12, 2011 at 1:46 am

      There is only “The Good,the Bad and the Wierd” review in your blog.

      Btw, why didn’t you do a review of The Shawshank Redemption? Responds:

      Maybe, because we’ve seen it tooo many times. We’ll do it one of these days. Forever on TV here.

  3. Filmlover   January 10, 2011 at 11:05 pm

    HI SI,

    I hope all is well. Thank you very much for your review. I don’t say Bicentennial Man is great film but worth to watch for one time. As you said, it is indeed lot better than shit movie Endhiran. The thing i also felt that length of Bicentennial Man should have been shortened. Then it would have been very good movie. I always admire Robin Williams. He is such tremendous talented actor in Hollywood.

    However, i am curious to know that have you seen following movies:

    1.”The Shawshank Redemption”,
    2.”The Green Mile”,
    3.”Schindler’s List” ( Masterpiece )
    4.”Amistad” ( this is the movie where our copycat tamil film makers copied and made in tamil as “Citizen”, starrer Ajith, Pathetic),
    5.”Lorenzo’s oil”,
    6.”What’s eating Gilbert Grape” (Excellent performance by both Johnny Depp and Leonardo Di Caprio),
    7.”The Man without a Face” ( this is must watch film. Mel Gibson’s first directorial venture, if you haven’t seen it, then don’t miss it)
    8. “The Exorcist” (All time best scary movie i have ever seen)
    9. “Men of Honor” ( Robert De Niro and Cuba Gooding Jr rocks)
    10. “Apocalypto” Responds:

    Seen 1, 3, 8.

    There are also several non-Hollywood foreign movies reviewed/talked about on SI.

    You might want to check out

    • Filmlover   January 11, 2011 at 4:36 am

      Hi SI,

      That’s a good one. I am glad you like world movies too.


  4. Aswin_Kini   January 11, 2011 at 7:57 am

    Although, like many others, I also assumed that Enthiran was either copied or inspired from movies like I ROBO and BI-CENTENNIAL MAN, I found neither of them are true.

    Enthiran was without a doubt copied from the 1987 Sci-Fi film Making Mr.RIGHT, a film with lesser known hollywood actors. I would have never know this if it hadn’t been for a Facebook friend, who passed me a video of the similarities between the 1987 film and Endhiran.

    Upon reading the WIKIPEDIA link for Making Mr.RIght, I found out clearly that Endhiran is indeed a clear cut copy of Making Mr Right. I hope the makes of the 1987 film sue Shankar.

    Btw: One of SI’s readers had also made a similar comment in some of SI’s previous post. I don;t remember the post name nor the name of the reader. Responds:

    We’ll try to watch Making Mr.Right later this week.

  5. iamthechampion007   January 11, 2011 at 10:47 am

    Ya, I saw that…..I was talking abt the rest…………Pls review them if u can……………. Responds:

    Yes, we’ll eventually get to all of the movies on your list.

  6. Naveen   January 11, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    I get a “Hacked. Cracked. Jacked. Ha Ha ha” message sometimes when i access this blog. Is that because your site is hacked or just closed for updates? Responds:

    Just so you know, Satan watches over this blog.

    If you or your alter egos try anything funny or write nonsense, Satan makes strange messages appear. 😉

    • Naveen   January 12, 2011 at 1:23 am

      That makes sense. I did have a rather unecessary war of words with you under a different id which I no longer use.

      After reading more of your posts I realized that I don’t like your caustic style but I agree with the substance.

      • முனிAndy   January 12, 2011 at 9:19 am

        I feel left out.. I never got that message. Responds:

        Indeed, you did get a custom message once.

        In the wee hours of 2010/08/06 when only the owls and bats were out playing.

        • vjcool   January 12, 2011 at 11:12 pm

          I got the message atleast twice, and SI always says we will write about it.


          No comprende… but if you saw an unsavory or odd message, rest assured it wasn’t aimed at you. 🙂

          SI faces relentless attack every day (must be the most-attacked ‘Indian’ blog)….so we do what we gotta do.

  7. Naveen   January 11, 2011 at 10:35 pm

    Have you folks seen “Up in the air” * George Clooney? I thought it was a good movie. Would be interested in your review…

    May I ask your name? Responds:

    1. You write: Have you folks seen “Up in the air” * George Clooney? I thought it was a good movie. Would be interested in your review…

    Try moving the mouse and using the search feature.

    Alternatively, please bookmark

    Here’s the Up in the Air review.

    2. You write: May I ask your name?

    Since you have a keyboard, what’s to prevent you from asking anything.

    The name is Anamika.

    • Naveen   January 12, 2011 at 1:25 am

      Thanks for the link, no-name and sarcasm 🙂

  8. sam   January 11, 2011 at 11:30 pm

    i saw part of guzaarish yesterday. It was lovely. Will you agree that SLB is the best director in India today and Hrithik the best actor? Responds:

    If pressed hard, we might concede that SLB & Hrithik are alright by the lowly/nonexistent Indian standards but pygmies on the global stage.

    It’s kinda like when 80s athlete PT Usha was hailed as a great athlete/extraordinary runner. Hell, the gal was a miserable failure in the international arena. We don’t recall Usha bringing home any laurels from the Olympics?

  9. Aswin_Kini   January 13, 2011 at 5:08 am

    Btw, the user who gave an accurate description of the films which Shankar copied or got inspired to make ENDHIRAN, was DINESH. This comment was posted by Dinesh in your original ENDHIRAN – An Orgasm of stupidity post.
    Kudos to him for beautifully explaining the aberration. Btw, I did like Endhiran.

    Btw, why do you always refer to some of your post as being written during our Pre-SI days. I understand “pre-historic”, but what exactly do you mean by pre-SI. Were you blogging using a different site?? Please let us know if you don’t mind. Responds:

    No, just that the format et al were different earlier (no blog, no scope for interaction with readers, style of writing, our exposure to Indian/foreign movies was limited compared to now……).

    Now, folks think of SI as a blog.

  10. gk   January 13, 2011 at 5:39 am

    Saw 127 Hours today. Its a brilliant tale of hope and perseverance. You haven’t seen it yet? Responds:

    No. We’ll catch it on DVD.

  11. racer44   January 13, 2011 at 5:50 am

    I remember watching this movie when some years back on TV. Never got to finish it though. Found it boring. Fell asleep halfway through. But still, nothing as hellishly bad as Endhiran.

    off-topic: You heard the latest chart-buster ruling radio stations in these parts? I loved it. Maybe you will too.

    Note:This song is best heard on a home theater with the speakers blaring….assuming of course, that you like the song. Responds:

    Racer, Please respond to the message we flashed to you regarding reviews of new Tamil movies.

  12. racer44   January 13, 2011 at 6:07 am

    Thanks for the offer, SI, but have to give it a pass for the time being.
    Number one, I have no means of getting paid anonymously.
    Number two, I would still like to do it for free(only for your site) but you would(quite rightly) expect me to work within deadlines of a day or two and there’s no way I could get tickets at such short notice, this being the pongal time and all.
    Number three:I’ll let you know within a day or two on the off-chance that I do manage to see either aadukalm or siruthai (I’ve long stopped seeing Vijay movies). BUT DON’T count on it. Responds:


    As for the money, the only other alternative is International Money Order or stuff the $ in an envelope.

    BTW, don’t you have things like P.O. box numbers in India to get mail?

    IF you do watch aadukalm or siruthai & IF you do plan to review them for SI, please let us know well in advance so that we don’t end up doing the same. And we’ll do the same.

    • racer44   January 13, 2011 at 6:17 am

      “As for the money, the only other alternative is International Money Order or stuff the $ in an envelope.

      BTW, don’t you have things like P.O. box numbers now in India to get mail?”

      I’ll do my research on this and get back to you at a later point. Till then, my earlier reply stands. Responds:


      But IF you do watch Aadukalm or Siruthai or Kaavalan & IF you do plan to review any of them for SI, please let us know well in advance which one(s) so that we don’t end up doing the same movie. And we’ll do likewise via an e-mail to you.

      As things stand, we’re most unlikely to see any of the new Tamil releases.

      But that could, of course, change. And if it does, we’ll send you a note by e-mail (we may not have access to blog on the road).

    • racer44   January 13, 2011 at 6:24 am

      Tell you what, don’t wait for me. I don’t want your readers getting disappointed with late reviews or no reviews at all for a movie that they might be keenly awaiting. Go ahead with your reviews. I’ll give word once I have sorted out this finance matter sorted out right and proper.(Will take some time). There’ll be other films this year, so no harm done. Responds:

      OK, we won’t wait for any of the reviews from you.

  13. sam   January 14, 2011 at 1:43 am

    Pongal vazhthukal!
    If you guys are not planning to watch any new tamil releases this pongal, try watching inithu inithu, which released 3-4 months ago. It will be a refreshing change fro the usual Tamil nonsense.

    Please watch Malayalam Bodyguard and skip kaavalan or u will regret!

    Siruthai and Adukalam, by the way are both remakes of telugu films which i cant even pronounce. Responds:

    1. Pongal vazhthukal to you too sweetie.

    2. You write: Please watch Malayalam Bodyguard and skip kaavalan or u will regret! Siruthai and Adukalam, by the way are both remakes of telugu films which i cant even pronounce.

    Unlikely, we’ll watch any of the Tamil releases this Pongal.

    We have visitors and been keeping company with Bacchus! 😉

    • trishna147   January 14, 2011 at 6:33 am

      Inithu Inithu is a remake of the Telugu film ‘Happy Days’, which i believe SI watched and didnt enjoy much.

      Siruthai is a remake of Vikramarkudu starring Ravi Teja and Anushka
      And Aadukalam is not a remake of a Telugu film. Responds:

      For some reason, Siruthai reminds us of Kazhudai. 😉

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