COLUMN: “Ex Machina,” the film that darkened science fiction

Rob Le Cates

Cam’ron Hardy is a sophomore journalism major and can be reached at 581-2912 or [email protected].

Cam'ron Hardy, News Editor

Ex Machina” is a film that sets a horrific situation into a viewer’s mind and makes them question everything. 

 After Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson) gets ‘selected’ to spend a week with the CEO of his tech company, Nathan Bateman (Oscar Isaac), Smith is given the opportunity to work alongside Bateman to see how his newest robot works named Ava (Alicia Vikander).  

 Shortly after arriving, Ava makes it apparent that she is smarter than both Smith and Bateman imagined.  

The acting is very realistic, but that is not a lot to say, since there are few intense scenes. There are some passive-aggressive scenes where the acting is tense enough for the audience to look forward to what happens next.  

Bateman has a smart-guy attitude which is shows through his demeanor and his snarky comments about already knowing the information that Smith is saying.  

Since Ava is a robot, her tone is as basic as possible, and we do not get a lot of variety with her. She only has the artificial intelligence personality that Bateman has programmed her with. 

Smith acts as if he is trying to fit in with Bateman. The two contrasting personalities go together kind of awkwardly, but that makes the film better.  

He is kind of timid until the end of the movie where the twist happens.  

Smith becomes attracted to Ava, and after finding out that Bateman plans to replace her like the other dozens of robots he had before her, he plans to break her out of the room that she lives in. 

Bateman finds out about this plan and thinks he stopped it before it happened, but Smith was already two steps ahead of him and allows Ava to leave the room. 

When Bateman and Ava come face-to-face with each other, Ava kills him, along with another robot assistant that Bateman had, and locks Bateman in a room to die.  

This movie exuberates sophistication in every category. , 

The home interior where majority of the film takes place is immaculate and drowned with minimalistic design, which is covalent with the way designs look today. For it to take place in mountains that are hidden away from society is a great touch to fit the sci-fi aesthetic.  

High-tech devices are scattered throughout the film, such as key cards that are needed to get into certain rooms and voice-activated light switches.  

Bateman’s house is on a mountain far away from anyone, which is assumed to be normal with CEOs in today’s era.  

The cinematography was also sophisticated. The color pallets and camera angles played a major part in the way the film was looked. 

At times, the audience is presented with a bright red scene, while other times, they are presented with dull looking rooms to help represent the mood of the scene.  

As stated previously, there was an assistant robot that was killed. Majority of the film, the audience is made to believe that she was a regular person from another country, but it was later revealed that she was a robot as well.

When Smith found out that she was a robot, his reaction was not super dramatic, but it was the music that played the second biggest factor in allowing the audience to feel something (the first being the actual realization that she is a robot.) 

The music was so discreet but added something to every scene.  

The most terrifying part of this film is how realistic it is. For decades, there have been discussions about robots taking over the world, and this film sets the scene for how that can be done.  

Technology is advancing by the day. Phone calls can be made with recognized voices with virtual assistance, and people do not know if they are listening and watching everything they do with their phones.

Houses can be locked and unlocked with applications on phones, which can lead people to be locked out of their houses. Not saying all technology is bad, but just because people can do all these things does not mean they should.  

Nonetheless, the movie is great and is one of the best modern science fiction movies.  

Rate: 5/5 

Cam’ron Hardy is a sophomore journalism major. He can be reached at [email protected] or 217-581-2812.