Ex Machina Movie Review

Vikander shines in this terrific sci-fi flick about AI and humanity 

Brain-o-meter Rating - 8/10


Ex-Machina is a terrific debut film by Alex Garland and does pose uncomfortable questions about humanity in general and our perception towards women. Although the sci-fi concepts touch upon AI and how a robot might have human consciousness on a basic level, it also touches two different attitudes towards women in the form of Nathan and Caleb.

The plot involves a programmer of an internet company winning a lottery and gaining access to an experiment from the CEO himself, involving testing Ava (Vikander) about traces of AI. This experiment leads to a cat-and-mouse game between all characters who are willing to go the extra mile for self preservation, desire and ambition too. Domnhall Gleeson is competent as Caleb and Oscar Isaac is suitably slimy as Nathan, the CEO of the company. But it is Alicia Vikander who is the star here, with her robotic mannerisms and subtle expressions concealing her intentions, she drives the narrative and the message of the movie brilliantly.

The audience is in on the game too, as they are being subjected to the same process as the programmer is, exposing our frivolities and vulnerability as humans. As the narrative proceeds with languid pacing, the intentions of Nathan and Ava become more and more indecipherable. Kudos to the director to keep the main character unsettled and confused much like the viewers themselves.

The background score is minimalist and foreboding. The setting is quite Kafkaesque adding to the entire premise of the film. Borrowing from a plot device name Deus Ex Machina, the film does hint at a red herring in the title itself, but keeps it subtle until the climax. The screenplay is tight yet fluid. All in all, this is a sci-fi feature that is guaranteed to please cine-lovers everywhere.

Highly recommended.