Killer robots chasing superheroes may be seen at this year's summer blockbuster season, but a very different robot has been seducing cinephiles on the sly.
Ava is a robot in 'Ex Machina', in what could be one of the smartest science fiction movies to come out in recent years.
The movie may soon be getting a screening at indie cinema The Projector on Beach Road in July, pending a film rating.
The directorial debut of Alex Garland, 'Ex Machina' is an intense thriller and a parable about technology and AI (artificial intelligence).
The movie follows programmer Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), who wins a competition to spend time at the remote, high-tech estate of his company's CEO (Oscar Isaac) for a week.
Caleb has been chosen to evaluate and test Ava (Alicia Vikander), an alluring robot who proves to be more sophisticated and deceptive than either guy imagines.
Caleb is tasked with performing a "Turing Test" through a series of interviews, to determine whether Ava demonstrates true AI, that is, whether she can think and feel for herself, or whether she is simply simulating human emotion.
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The result is an intriguing piece of speculative fiction that is truly plausible.
Garland (the screenwriter behind '28 Days Later', 'Sunshine' and author of 'The Beach') touches on everything from gender politics and female empowerment to mass surveillance.
Fans have liken the movie to be a mix of 'Blade Runner' meets 'The Social Network' and is perhaps a better commentary about AI than Neil Blomkamp's 'Chappie' and Spike Jonze's 'Her'.
Zaki Jufri writes about the arts, entertainment, film and other forms of popular — and unpopular — culture for inSing.com