I think I am making up for missing most of the movies released in 2015 by watching them this year :) This is the second movie I am catching and WOW! Ex Machina has been listed as #1 in most of the top 15 Hollywood movies for 2015 and I agree 100%. While it is essentially a sci-fi film, it is also emotional, thrilling, and unexpected.
|Caleb and Nathan|
The movie begins when a developer, Caleb, working for BlueBook (an Internet Search Engine company) wins a week long stay at the CEO's estate. The CEO, Nathan, is a child prodigy who started writing code at 13. When Caleb is dropped off at the estate, he is not sure what to expect. Nathan is not quite what he expects. He is given a key card which allows him access to certain areas in the house. The house also is a research facility and Caleb is taken totally by surprise when Nathan asks him to sign an NDA (Non-disclosure agreement) that seems very detailed and not standard.
Caleb signs it but is not too happy. That changes when Caleb realizes that Nathan has built a female
robot with AI (Artificial Intelligence) and Caleb has to test if she exhibits true AI or is simulating human emotion - a test known as a Turing Test. The female robot is Ava. The interactions between Ava and Caleb are recorded and watched by Nathan except when there is a power cut. The conversations between Nathan and Caleb are not that of an employer with an employee or one between friends but weirdly personal. Nathan ribs Caleb about his quotable quotes and Caleb tries to fit in and comes across confused, curious, and very natural.
|Nathan and Kyoko|
Nathan's maid or girl friend, Kyoko, has very little to say or is mute but after appearing suddenly, she is there for the rest of the movie. She performs a choreographed and well-synchronized disco routine with Nathan and it is obvious from the way they dance that they have done this often.
I was trying to get ahead of the story and guess where it might go and I was surprised every time. The movie does not employ too many twists but each twist was crisp and later you realized that that was the only way to go. The ending was so unexpected that it stayed with me for a long time. It was not an ending I could accept but it was actually perfect. There is a fair amount of nudity and while it can distract, I doubt it was used for that purpose in the movie. However, because of that, I would not advise you to watch the movie at home with children, family etc. Watch it when you can and let me know what you think. If you have already seen it, let me know what you think.