This was a very interesting film. Made simply with only a few characters you feel immersed in the film straightaway. This is a story of a genius having created an AI (artificial intelligence) calling upon another person to test how brilliant his creation is. This is done by various question and answer sessions.
Nathan comes across as a genius but is very unlikeable. He rephrases quotes from the other character, Caleb to make himself equal to God. He lives in isolation and uses his AI’s for company. Yes there are more than one. His experimentation of an AI’s intelligence and emotions are what Ex-Machina is about. He is the creator and has no respect for his creations. This is seen in his other AI, Kyoko.
Kyoko is Nathans assistant but is actually a robot. Initially it seems as if she is the house help and lover of Nathan. She does not speak and is treated as a lowlife by Nathan. In a later scene you see Kyoko peel back her skin to show her robot features. As a viewer you become horrified at the gruesome mentality of Nathan. Kyoko is shown to have no intelligence but she does shows to have some decision making skills when she stabs Nathan. The decision to do this was Ava’s but Kyoko showed the intelligence to follow orders.
Caleb is the person chosen by Nathan to test Ava’s intelligence. As the story unfolds you come to realize that he was specifically hired after Ava was created from his search history and created to his likes and dislikes. This is much like the modern world where ‘big brother’ is watching all the time. Caleb builds a relationship with Ava. The question here is she sincere or manipulating him for her own purposes.
Ava is the artificial intelligence and by the end of the film we question if she has become all human as she has been able to manipulate Caleb, have Nathan killed and escape in the helicopter meant for Caleb. She arrives in the middle of the human population and blends in completely.
This film is quite shocking but revealing in how technology is advancing at an incredible speed and without checks and balances the AI’s might even take over the human race one day…. Ava passes the turing test with flying colours. (where a robot can make others believe it is human)
Ex-Machinas visual effects were created by ‘Double Negative.’ Andrew Whitehurst and his team wanted Ava to look as human as possible with robotic qualities rather than a robot. They used CG rendered body parts and various camera techniques to come up with the very real life like robot/human. I thought they did an excellent job. It really felt that Ava was almost human.