Saturday, 24 January 2015

Did you program her to flirt with me?

Ex Machina (2015)

There can be a tendency for a more high brow minded creator to think they are reinventing or saying something new, genre tropes when they take them on. But instead the use the same ideas any number of hacky B movies have done for years but add a dull solemnity. Winterbottom's Code 46 for example. Garland has perhaps been a little guilty of this with his collaborations with Danny Boyle but escapes the trap mostly (for one because Boyle is a canny and humane director who fills the screen with warmth) and again here touches on nothing particularly new but has a witty and interesting approach.
Essentially a four hander (most reviews seem to be focusing on the three main characters but Sonoya Mizuno gives a great silent performance and is an important part of the film) set in a single location it can be a little didactic but never feels stagey. The film is crisply shot, shorn of exposition for vast chunks, and well played by all, though Gleeson's accent sounds a touch weak. Vikander's A.I. robot is a marvel of special effects raised several levels by a terrific performance.
The film may not have anything new to say about A.I. especially (it tries to tie it all into social media not entirely convincingly) but really the film seems to be about the way Men approach technology and sexuality. It seems to condemn the one sided nature of gender in tech (though not without issues of it's own as a fair amount of female nudity is on display for the viewer here) without ever bringing that subject up, making it incredibly timely and more than just an exercise in 'is Deckard a replicant or not?'.

No comments:

Post a Comment