Film: The Intern
Cast: Robert De Niro, Anne Hathaway, Rene Russo
Directed by: Nancy Meyers
Duration: 2 hrs
Rating: * * * *
“How is it that you always say the right, do the right thing?” asks Anne Hathaway who plays Jules the owner of a flourishing e-commerce portal, of Ben a 70 year old, who is her intern. He is punctual, dresses impeccably, never frowns and always has a smile on his face and always has something nice to say. And he always carries a handkerchief – not because he needs it but somebody else might.
Ben is that kind of a character – he is cooler than the coolest uncle you know and could well be the most pleasant man to be around on this planet.
Director Nancy Meyers has given us a few lightweight enjoyable films (The Parent Trap, Something’s Gotta Give, The Holiday) and with The Intern she scores once again as it has a high quotient of the feel-good factor. It is the characters and their wonderful chemistry that make The Intern such a delight.
Ben (De Niro) is a widower who is enjoying a retired life. Out of curiosity and challenge, he applies at an e-commerce portal since they are looking for senior interns. He is assigned to the boss Jules, a self made woman who is rather quirky and private.
You know the film will follow the predictable arc – after the initial vacillation Jules and Ben will form an endearing relationship, with his wisdom he’ll also help her sort out her problems. The enchantment of the film lies in the manner in which all of this unfolds. Plus there are the supporting characters in the office who add to the zing and Rene Russo, who plays the in-house masseuse and the romantic feeling between her and Ben is mutual.
Meyers who has also written the screenplay also touches upon the present and the past generation in a very pleasant manner. Ben for instance likes to come to work in his suit and carries a good old fashioned attaché. At the same time, he is not a technophobe like many others of his generation. He likes to move on and there is a lesson in there for everyone.
While Jules is a remarkable lady in her own right, it is her interactions with Ben that reveal more about her. Outwardly, she is a tough cookie but deep down, she is a soft person.
We know what a fine actor Robert De Niro is but here his performance exceeded expectations. He adds a different dimension to the character to Ben. The talented Anne Hathaway also matches him at every step –in fact she has to portray a wider range of expressions which she does so well.
The Intern is as heartwarming as a modern day film can get.
Published in The Navhind Times on 27th Sept. 2015