Great film. Very re-watchable.
Garland has been crushing the storytelling for years.
It is great to see him get some projects as a director.
This one is always fun to analyze.
**We start** with Caleb winning a *random* trip to master-coder, search engine designer, hyper-rich, heavy-drinking Nathan's secluded mansion.
We meet Nathan and find out we are actually there to test a cyborg/robot/AI machine named Ava.
(Notice the section of cracked glass on the observation section of Ava's room--top right from Caleb's pov.)
After meeting Ava we're asked, "How do you feel about her?"
The power cuts at times.
We can't use the phone.
We're in a high security research facility built into a mansion.
After another session with Ava we are asked, "How does she feel about *you*?"
We're setup to launch into Act 2 with a partially false question or story goal. Yes, we are there to see if Ava passes the Turing Test, but we soon find out there is more to it.
Ava immediately tells Caleb that Nathan can't be trusted, and Caleb keeps this statement from Nathan.
Sexuality is discussed.
The visual motif of black and white and color, outside and inside, and a real or unreal person is established.
Near our **Midpoint** Nathan reveals to Caleb that he was actually chosen to come to the mansion because of his coding skills. From here we go into the idea of romance again. Sexuality.
Possibly the best scene of the film hits us. "Tear up the dance floor!"
Another level of confusion and insanity hits.
Nathan mentions Ava is not the final model, she failed the test, and she will be erased. There have been many versions before her.
We stumble onto documentation of these past models, and it the true darkness od the situation hits us--these "beings" are held against their will. They hate Nathan and captivity.
He hatch an escape plan for Ava.
We have a clear goal for Act 3. We no longer worry about if. ava passes the test. She has passed *our* test, and we're breaking her free after getting Nathan "blind stinking drunk."
**Act 3** opens with a phenomenal reversal. Our plan is shut down by Nathan's awareness--secret camera. We get a moment of open conflict between Nathan and Caleb, we get another level of truth to the "Caleb was Chosen" idea, *but* then we realize Caleb's plan was a fake out. He has *already* released Ava.
Violence and death.
Ava puts on the rest of her skin.
She leaves Caleb behind. Trapped.
Maybe think twice before getting an Alexa after watching this one.
Written and directed by Alex Garland.
(words are original, first image is from pixabay, second image is original, posts may also be shown on my hive.blog page.)