Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Ex Machina (5/5, Excellent)

Screenwriter Alex Garland directs his first feature with a dark story about artificial intelligence, love and life. A disturbing and a brilliant film. Bravo.

Caleb (Domhall Gleeson) wins a contest and has the chance to spend a weekend with software genius Nathan (Oscar Isaac) in a remote mansion. This latter has pierced scientific and philosophical boundaries: he created a robot, Ava (Alicia Vikander) who will be tested by Caleb to see if she can be recognized not as a robot but as a human being. However many dark deeds surround both Ava and Nathan. Who to trust? Who to believe? 

Screenwriter Alex Garland (The Beach, 28 days later, Sunshine) directs his first film and what an accomplishment! He could bring together different influences from The Matrix to The Shining. He is a film fan and it can be easily guessed. The film occurs in one week and each day is a step forward a dark abyss. The degrading context is beautifully engineered by a good script (written by Garland himself) accompanied with a beautiful acting (especially by Vikander). 

Cinematography has been done with great care, putting forward mirror reflections as if they were illustrations of our darkest impulses. Life can be created from a bright mind but what it cannot ever be controlled are the feelings of the ''created''. Garland is not afraid to talk about philosophical issues such as freedom, love , desire and power. These are contemporary ones which cross our lives and thoughts. You don't like philosophy? Do not worry, Garland handles it very well to give further dramatic intensity to the story. 

An incredible surprise for a film that we thought it wouldn't be that interesting. The issue of Artificial Intelligence has been overused in contemporary sci-fi but this time, it has been given an interesting focus. Is it possible to feel desire for a machine? Is it real love or is it only an illusion? Can we really love then? Important questions that we will never know the answers for sure. This film does not try to answer them, it adds further enigma. The matter is therefore to keep wondering what are the answers. 


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