Toto Image

Toto

By Alan Ng | May 30, 2020

WE ARE ONE: A GLOBAL FILM FESTIVAL REVIEW! Toto is a sweet yet heartbreaking story of an older woman and her robot. Directed by Marco Baldonado, this is the story of a set-in-her-ways grandmother from the old country. Late in life, Rosa lives a comfortable life, sitting in our lounger watching TV, but everything changes with the delivery of a rather large crate.

In the next scene, Rosa is plugging in a human-sized robot named Toto (looking a lot like Baymax from Big Hero 6). Toto is programmed to be a helper, assisting her with basic household tasks. Once activated, the robot asks if she wants to update its software, and she responds with a terse, dismissive “no!” She’s annoyed with her new “helper.” It appears she never asked for help from her daughter and granddaughter. That is until Toto makes her the perfect spaghetti sauce. The two are now best friends… until the robot needs recharging.

“Toto is programmed to be a helper, assisting her with basic household tasks.”

The thirteen-minute short film bleeds sweetness, and the final act of Toto will break your heart. As Nonna, Rosa Forlano gives a fantastic performance of the hard-chiseled grandmother, who, against her better judgment, opens her heart to her mechanical friend.

As a film, it’s a study of contrasts. The contrast between the older, wrinkled Rosa set against her new smooth robot friends is beautiful and funny. I also love the production design contrasting the modern, suburban home of today with a single piece of futuristic technology.

It’s an excellent short from start to finish. Great writing, production design, and acting is the reason to watch Toto.

Toto is the Tribeca Film Festival entrant for the 2020 We Are One: A Global Film Festival.

 

Toto (2020)

Directed: Marco Baldonado

Written: Marco Baldonado, Walter Woodman

Starring: Rosa Forlano, Marco Baldonado, Walter Woodman, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

Toto Image

"…the thirteen-minute short film bleeds sweetness…"

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