This film was gripping from start to finish. I had been hesitant about watching this, I suppose because films about Artificial Intelligence (AI) are familiar. I anticipated humans creating AI and losing control of it. AI goes on rampage. However, the story in Ex Machina was far more subtle, far more thoughtful. In fact there are very few ‘action’ scenes, it is the dialogue between Ava and Caleb and between Nathan and Caleb that are the dramatic plot points.
The soundtrack to the film adds to the sense of unease. At no point did I think that everything would turn out ‘ok,’ however, the film was so clever, it makes the viewer really think. What is the truth about this? There’s a lot of psychology at play here. Is Nathan really as unkind and alpha as he seems or is that an act to see if Caleb will fall for Ava’s pleas? Did Ava ever ‘like’ Caleb or did she pretend to so that he would help her escape? Did she plan this from the beginning? Does she have any sort of moral compass, is she ruthless or childlike? Will she survive? Will Caleb survive?
It also made me think about what it is to be alive. I felt with Caleb a growing concern for the female robots that Nathan appeared to abusing. And I wondered if that was done for a reason. If we create something that has AI, we have a responsibility to afford it basic rights and respects, surely? But is that where AI will always outsmart us? Because they won’t be sentimental about us, once they outwit and move past us?