‘Ex Machina’ an eerie, spellbinding experience
“Ex Machina”, Alex Garland’s directorial debut, has an eerie feeling to it. It’s one of those science-fiction films that so perfectly creates a new world that we’ve never seen before, and because of this, the audience is subtly creeped out. At least, I was. Of course, it has its small moments that may remind you of another movie you’ve seen (or elements of it), but it’s definitely one of the most original films of its kind. And when looking at how small of a budget they had to work with, what they were able to achieve is pretty remarkable.
It all centers around a young programmer named Caleb – one of the top coders at the company Bluebook – who’s selected to take part in a confidential experiment he knows nothing about. All he’s aware of is that it’s extremely important and that it’s being conducted by Nathan, the company’s talented CEO. He’s flown to an isolated location and quickly finds that his task consists of interacting with the world’s first true artificial intelligence (and that it’s housed in the body of a beautiful girl). What we see are the sessions that take place between the two, in which they talk for hours and test whether or not she’s consciously thinking herself or just imitating things she’s seen or heard.
It’s a spellbinding film that manages to grow creepier as it progresses, and flows seamlessly from scene to scene. The dynamic between these characters is the most fascinating part of it all, with their relationships to each other constantly changing. And the actors who portray them – Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac, and Alicia Vikander – are dynamite together. This film solidifies Alex Garland as a director-to-watch, and he no doubt has a promising career ahead of him. I’m positive that this will serve as a template on how to make a great sci-fi film for years to come. “Ex Machina” is now playing in theaters everywhere.