Tag Archives: A.I.

Lies and Deception: Alex Garland’s ‘Ex-Machina’

Soham Gadre

Ex Machina (2015)

Ex Machina (2015)

What Garland does extremely well in this film is to identify the sexuality and deception of an artificially intelligent “life-form” as essentially human traits. The lines that are spoken between Eva and Caleb: “do you want to be with me?”, “let’s go on a date”;  or images of Eva’s body, her smooth mechanical sexuality, the way she rolls her stockings up her legs, or connects synthetic human skin with her abdomen – these are gestures that draw Caleb (and us as the audience) in. By the end, Eva is a beautiful woman. One of the final images of her: standing in the nude in front of the mirror,  long hair flowing – evokes a perfectly carnal, human instinct in those looking.

The twist that Garland employs at the end reveals nothing about artificial intelligence, which really is and should be the center of the film. And more to talk about: Eva’s ability to dupe Caleb into believing she likes him in order to escape is a scary proposition; that robots will be able to consciously trick us for their own gain. And yet, what could be more human than that? It’s a depiction of the fear and paranoia of our world; who’s lying to us? What’s the truth? Who can we trust? That Nathan owns and operates a giant search engine company (see: Google) should be a talking point about whether we can ever trust them. What happens when Google and Apple A.I. are able to think and operate for themselves, or converse through a human consciousness? Will they lie to us too? It may seem like a lot to discuss, but if Shane Carruth can discuss relativity in Primer, and Duncan Jones can meditate on the human fear of isolation in Moon, one would expect Garland to be able to talk about the implications of Artificial Intelligence instead of just using it as a device of misdirection.