By: Jenna Moloney
Ex Machina is a science-fiction movie about a scientist that built a robot so similar to a
human that, aside from her appearance, it could be mistaken for one. The scientist, Nathan, is
very intelligent and he takes every precautionary measure in his experiment, but alcohol
sometimes diminishes his alertness. The robot fakes emotion to get Caleb, the subject being
tested, to help it escape. In the end, the robot kills Nathan and locks Caleb in the building,
leaving him behind as it disguises itself as a human and flies to the city in the helicopter meant
for Caleb. The conclusion suggests that the robot lives its “life” as a human, and Caleb is left in
the scientist’s house to die.
This movie was very interesting. The actress that played the robot (Alicia Vikander)
portrayed the reactions of a robot very well. The motion picture overall discussed genuine and
false emotion, the art of deceiving, alcoholism, the wonder of scientific discoveries, and what it
means to be a human. Although it did not end in the way I would have liked, I enjoyed the movie
There were a lot of scenes in the movie in which the frame was moving. In the scene
when Caleb is waiting for Nathan to fall asleep, the camera is continuously zooming out as
Nathan talks pointlessly in his intoxicated form. The movement of the frame backward as Caleb
stares forward adds to the thought process of Caleb: slowly and cautiously waiting. When a
character realizes something, such as when Caleb realizes the robot controls the system failures,
the camera zooms in, making the realization more dramatic. There were a few long shots taken
from the “security cameras,” making the room and the people in the room look small. Close up
shots were used in dialogue where the director wanted the audience to pay close attention to,
specifically important intellectual discussion that was valuable in understanding the scientific
points of the movie.
In short, the cinematography was very carefully thought out and contributed
to the movie plot quite well.
Along with the different shots used, music was also a strong part of the movie. Intense
sequences had strong noise that grew louder by the second. At the end, there was a calm song
playing in the house as the robot left, contrasting greatly to the chaos that had occurred
immediately before. The robot’s dress and curled hair also added to this juxtaposition.
Ex Machina provokes interesting thought and is entertaining to people who enjoy
science-fiction, including myself. It portrays love as nothing more than a form of foolish
trickery. The film also warns its audience of the controlling nature of technology and how our
technologically advancing society may prove to be harmful to humans in the near future. The
idea that people are easily deceived by appearances and emotions makes this movie so powerful.
The theory that artificial intelligence triumphs over the human brain instills fear in an audience.
The film overall is an important commentary on experimental robots and how they could
potentially be dangerous. The conclusion even begs the question of whether there are robots
disguised as humans already living right under our noses. This movie, in my opinion, is one of
the best films of 2015. It will, whether you like it or not, make you think.