Sunday, 6 November 2016

Ex Machina review


Ex Machina is an independent, psychological thriller made by DNA, Film4 and Universal Pictures. It was released in January 2015. In this review I will be commenting on the cast, director, writer and producer, budget, production, ethical and moral issues and my own opinion of the film. 

The cast members included Alicia Vikander (Ava), Donhnall Gleeson (Caleb Smith), Oscar Isaac (Nathan Bateman), Sonoya Mizuno (Kyoto), Symara A. Templeman (Jasmine), Elina Alminas (Amber), Gana Bayarsaikhan (Jade), Tiffany Pisano (Katya), Claire Selby (Lily) and Corey Johnson (Jay the helicopter pilot). The cast members are from all areas of the world including Dublin, Ireland,Gothenburg, Sweden, America and Japan and the UK.

The director of Ex_Machina is Alex Garland, who also wrote the film and has written films such as 28 Days Later and Never Let Me Go. Garland had the idea and foundations of the film at age 11 or 12 after he had done some basic coding and felt computers could have a mind of their own.

The producers involved in Ex_Machina were Andrew Macdonald, who has worked on film such as 28 Days Later (which Garland wrote) and Never Let Me Go where Garland wrote the screenplay. The  other producer on the film was Allon Reich who also produced 28 Weeks Later with Macdonald and Never Let Me Go.

The budget of the film was $15 million, which is a small budget compared to blockbuster films like Star Wars, which had a budget of $306 million. In box office, the film made $36.9 million.

Production of the film took place after 4 weeks of filming in Pinewood Studios and 2 weeks filming at Juvet Landscape Hotel in Valldalen, Norway. The film was shot as a live action film, and added special effects in later in the editing stages. The scenes with Ava where filmed twice, with her and without her. This allowed the cameras to pick up the background which could then be edited back in in post-production. Her hands and face were rotoscoped and the rest of her body was digitally painted out, so the background could be seen. Camera and body tracking systems where able to create a CGI version of Ava and the robot's movements could be edited. Overall, there was around 800 VFX shots and 350 of them where shots for the robots. The music was composed by Ben Salisbury who has worked on TV music and films. He was nominated for a BAFTA for working David Attenborough series The Life of Mammals and Life in the Undergrowth. He also composed a score for a documentary film Beyonce: Life Is But A Dream. Geoff Barrow was the other composer for Ex_Machina who has worked with Garland on the 2012 film Dredd.

During this film many ethical and moral questions are raised such as, is the nudity necessary? Why is it only female nudity? Does this represent Hollywood and the film industry well? What do certain cultures and religions think of this?

In my opinion I think this film is good as it grips the audience and you want to find out more and what happens to Caleb at the end. Does he escape? Can he escape? Did Ava really love him, or was it just simulated feelings? This ending is good as it leaves the audience wanting more and talking about it, however I would have liked to know what happens to Caleb. I think if the ending was different it wouldn't have such a good and thrilling impact and the audience wouldn't be as shocked. Although, I don't think the nudity was necessary to the film as this could be offensive to religions or cultures. Also it means the rating of the film is increased so a younger audience can not watch the film. 

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