An interview with Marlena del Hierro, the Seniorly gerontologist, about the new film "The Intern".
Film Review (out of 5): 5 Stars
What stereotypes do you believe the film tries to break?
“I think the film means to break down the idea that older adults may not have the specific knowledge to keep up in fast-paced, modern work environments.”
How are older people portrayed throughout the film? Does this portrayal change at all?
“The portrayal of older people definitely changes throughout the film. In the beginning, older employees are portrayed as having a hard time keeping up with technology. But towards the end you see that the main character has a strong drive to improve and learn. He is extremely observant and wise, and the company begins to realize that they are under-utilizing his skills.”
In contrast, how are younger people portrayed throughout the film?
“The younger people in the film are portrayed as tech-savvy, fast-paced, business-minded people who have yet to discover who they really are. Although they are slower to trust others, they are wanting support and advice as they go through life’s challenges. In a way, Ben becomes a sort of mentor for these younger employees, inspiring them to keep the idea of the gentleman alive through their clothing and behavioral choices.”
What do you think the film’s intended message was to viewers?
“I think the film wanted to challenge people’s perceptions of an older generation, and inspire them to view elders as mentors to learn from, with valuable knowledge and fresh perspectives on relevant topics.”
Can you recall any memorable or inspirational lines?
“The main character Ben Whittaker (Robert De Niro) tells Jules (Anne Hathaway), ‘You’re never wrong for doing the right thing.’ This Mark Twain quote gives us a glimpse of Ben’s gentle character, full of wisdom and a strong moral compass.”
After seeing this movie, what advice would you give to elders hoping to come out of retirement and/or go back to work?
“Find comfort knowing that there are professionals who see a need for older people in the work force. Be confident that you possess expertise and work experience that will be highly valued in the right environment.”
Would you recommend this movie to a friend? A relative? A coworker?
“I would recommend this film to everyone. It is extremely uplifting and provides a fresh perspective on an important topic.”