Hollywood big starrers are usually known for their big-budgets, grandeur and established genres that justify the presence of the big stars. This week's release THE INTERN, despite the presence of heavy weights like Robert De Niro and Anne Hathway is a light comedy, which has a lot more to offer than you would expect.
The 121-minute film opens with Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro), an empty nester trying to spend his days more purposefully. When he chances upon a flyer of a senior internship program at an e-commerce company in his Brooklyn neighbourhood, he's quick to make it past the interviews and bag the job. He is posted as an intern to Jules Ostin (Anne Hathaway), founder of the online fashion start-up Aboutthefit.com. As he struggles with learning the ropes of modern technology, his bigger challenge is breaking the ice with the boss, who only wants him shifted to another department, since she doesn't quite see the point of having a senior citizen intern working under her. But Ben is not one to quit. He takes every menial task in his stride – from getting coffee to clearing clutter- his will is endearing. Jules, however, cannot help but notice how this old man is becoming 'Mr. Congeniality' of her office, who is loved by everyone around. Soon, Ben replaces Jules' driver and starts driving her around for her meetings and also handling small tasks for her, which eventually seem to add immense value to her life. In no time, he gets friendly with Jules' family, her 'stay-at-home' husband and her little daughter, and Ben becomes an integral part of her life.
As far as the performances go, no surprises here, as Robert De Niro steals the show from the first frame. De Niro brings tremendous charm to the character of a 70 year old widower who is as excited as a teenager to jump back into the new-age corporate world and work as an intern (dressed in a suit all the time) with colleagues, who are one an average 40-50 years younger than him. From struggling to start his laptop, to tidying up the office space, to fixing his boss Jules' life, De Niro as Ben wins you over in every scene. Anne Hathaway as the over-worked young entrepreneur, struggling to manage both her office and her home, presents the complexity of her character with her trademark charm. The dilemma of whether to give up her company to save her family haunts Hathaway's character throughout the film, and with this complexity, Hathaway builds a unique chemistry with De Niro on screen. Other actors like Andrew Rannells, Rene Russo, Zack Pearlman, and Adam DeVine make for great supporting cast and help take the film forward.
Overall, THE INTERN is a simple sweet film, with charming performances by Robert De Niro and Anne Hathaway, which makes for a good watch.