Friday, May 22, 2015

Film: Ex Machina, Directed by Alex Garland


Went to see the film because it was generating some buzz. It started out as a limited release and then it was suddenly showing in a lot more theaters. 

I watched it with patience that it did not deserve. As the film progressed, my patience started to transform into curiosity as to how this is going to work out and finally it turned into disappointment. First of all - a lot of ideas were thrown out and never developed (from semantics to automated neuropschylogical testing). A lot of name-dropping occurred as well -- from Wittgenstein to Jackson Pollock -- without actually deriving any meaning from that. Name-dropping was a fancy backdrop and did not create a CONTEXT for the action. Some of the issues discussed were so tired and tiresome: e.g. global loss of privacy , the internet as Big Brother, behavioral patterns as source of the new enslavement of the individual by the big technology corporations. The display of the 'enslaved', 'closeted' robots (all women), interchangeable, and disposable - was the lowest point of the film. This part belonged to "dungeon" movies aesthetics, if there is such a genre.

Isn't it sad that the underlying message of the film eventually turned out to be that the robot "becomes" human when it learns to lie, back-stab, and be manipulative? This is the test for humanness? Please...If the movie sends a cynical message that does not mean that it is very intelligent or intellectual... The final shot was quite ridiculous - the robot's (now human) dream to stand on a cross-section and observe what happens IS accomplished!? I thought the director would at least send her to manage The Big Software Corporation ...

Oscar Isaac is unrecognizable in the role of Nathan and as good as ever. Hope he gets the role he deserves in the future.

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