Ex Machina (2015) – Review

Programmer Caleb wins a competition to take part in the next stage evaluation of Ava, an artificial intelligence and android. Caleb sets off to the home of Nathan in an undisclosed location for seven days to participate.

Starring Domhnall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander, Ex Machina may seem slow in the beginning but soon ups its game and develops into a psychological thriller before you know it. These quieter moments consisted of multiple two way conversation scenes between Caleb and Ava that could be seen as repetitive and easy plot devices to some. In spite of this, these ‘sessions’ were certainly engaging to watch and most certainly held their ground thanks to the actors.

Caleb and Ava’s curious developing relationship drove the narrative of the film. By setting the film sometime in the future but not too far into the future, the viewer is met with a somewhat familiar environment and isn’t distracted to an extent that pulls the attention away from what matters. An example of this would be Ava. Initially, Ava’s physicality and technological build is fascinating to the human eye but we soon move on from this. The physical moves to the conscious or emotional and Ava becomes more human than perhaps other characters in the story.

Highlights would certainly have to be Ex Machina’s cinematography. One could tell that creative thought had gone into each individual shot, something that doesn’t always happen in a film. You can most certainly tell when it does. These beautiful shots that often dwelled in the moment were complemented by subtle music and sounds. Setting and production design excelled too by keeping minimal, simple and clean, which made for a slick and polished film.

4/5