Alex Garland’s movie taps into the issue of artificial intelligence, robots and God complex. But hidden in the final scene of the movie is a message that seems more powerful than the rest.
Most of the intrigue in Ex-Machina relies on whether or not Ava, the female robot Nathan (played by Oscar Isaac) created, can fake consciousness and trick Caleb (Domnhall Gleeson) the young programmer Nathan invited to test her.
If the whole back and forth between the robot, whose face belongs to Alicia Vikander, mesmerising and intriguing, and Caleb takes the biggest part of the movie, the final scene which amounts to a mere 5 minute is what really stuck with me.
As Ava browses through the robots that preceded her, she starts taking pieces from each one of them to ‘update’ herself. This could seem insignificant but in a society where the body is under so much scrutiny and where everyone is working hard to get a so-called perfect one, this scene hit home. Seeing Ava take a piece a skin from here, an arm from there, picking a new haircut and then a dress I could not help but think about the millions of people who look at other people’s bodies and wish they had the same. How many of us can honestly say they have never envied someone else’s frame, features, hair or clothes?
I resented the movie for making the robot a female one who is once again seductive and manipulative as well as elusive playing on the centuries old tale of the danger of women. I also hated the underlying message that women are hard to understand and decipher as if we were an entirely different species whose behaviour and thoughts are nothing like men’s.
However I thank it for that one final scene which put in perspective the lenghts one would go to to achieve the perfect body. I think this is an important issue and although Ex-Machina didn’t dwelve too much on it, it had no business doing so really, I am glad they sort of alluded to it.