Ex Machina review.
My Ratings: 4/5.
At one time Nathan (Oscar Isaac), the genius billionaire in a drunken feat recites these words before he finally swoons away. “…In sleep, in confusion, in the depths of shame, the good deeds a man has done before defend him.”
Another time Caleb (Domhnall Gleeson), the young employee shares another quote with his boss Nathan. “I am become death, destroyer of the worlds”
These lines are extracts from Bhagavad Gita. J. Robert Oppenheimer’s quoted these exact lines after he successfully tested his infamous invention – the atomic bomb!
But what exactly did Nathan create which can be so dangerous and even has the potential to destroy the world?
A robot, Ex Machina or in Latin ‘Deus ex machina’ which means ‘a god From the Machine’.
Mastermind Nathan, the creator of ‘Bluebook’ which seems to be the ‘leading search engine’ of the world (more like google in the real world) has recently managed to develop artificial intelligence!
His latest robotic model is named Ava (Alicia Vikander), a female version of course. Beautiful and seductive.
And for the final ‘Turing test’ (a test that determines if the machine can pass itself off as human to another human), Nathan brings in one of his company’s young employer Cabel with the sole intention to monitor Cabel’s interaction with Ava.
By one week, if Ava doesn’t qualify the test, then she will be scrapped like her earlier versions and a new model will take her place.
But is Ava aware of her fate? Is she capable enough to change her own destiny?
A tensed Sci Fi thriller that revolves mainly around these three characters, a perfect combination of Nathan’s arrogant intellect, Cabel’s innocent confusion and Ava’s seductive benevolence.
Norway is the actual location of Nathan’s ultramodern house, though most of the film is shot indoor, which gives a claustrophobic feel and also symbolizes Ava’s confinement i guess.
Ex Machina is Alex Garland‘s directorial debut (also famous for writing novels and screenplays such as The Beach, 28 Days Later…, Never Let Me Go) and undoubtedly he has done a great job.
Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac, both did great portraying their somewhat complicated characters. Swedish actress Alicia Vikander deserves a special mention since being a robot her expressions and body-language had to be very subtle yet effective.
But the real winner in this 1 hour 48 min futuristic drama is the brilliant use of visual effects. The amazing special effects give the film it’s much necessary believability.
Rob Hardy, the cinematographer played well with the colors, mostly used Red, Green and Blue (RGB). And the music by Geoff Barrow and Ben Salisbury compliments the visuals and often helps intensifying the tension.
Many famous films like Steven Spielberg‘s A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Ridley Scott‘s Blade Runner and then the latest Neill Blomkamp‘s Chappie – all has their individual takes on artificial intelligence but Ex Machina is probably the first one to make a psychological thriller out of it.
A bit slow paced maybe, and mostly dialogue based but in spite of not being personally a fan of Sci Fi movies, i find it pretty impressive.