If you’re in the mood for a mind blowing “Twilight Zone”-style science fiction movie, don’t miss this one!
Nathan (Oscar Isaac) is a programming wizard who has created the world’s dominant search engine. He is a multi-billionaire and has a secret laboratory/residence in a secluded Yosemite-like region. (The scenery is breathtaking.) Nathan launched a contest at his company to find the best programmer working for him. This winner won the prize of spending one week with Nathan on his estate.
Caleb (Domhall Gleason) wins the contest and gets flown by helicopter to meet with Nathan. He learns from Nathan that his mission is to interact with Nathan’s latest masterpiece secret creation, the beautiful android Ava (Alicia Vikander) to determine whether she has human self-awareness or is an exceptional computer, merely simulating consciousness. Caleb meets with Ava each day for an interview. Ava is amazingly human-like, is quite sensual, and even flirts with Caleb.
When not interviewing Ava, Caleb interacts with Nathan and his female house guest, Kyoko (Sonoya Mizono) and it becomes apparent that Nathan has serious characterological and other problems.
Is Ava self-aware? Can she creatively adapt to new circumstances and, if she can, what might happen to her and the other 3 people with whom she interacts?
I can’t disclose any more without spoiling the plot, but, suffice it to say, the suspense and tension build throughout the film, and there are unexpected twists. It has a leisurely pace, but it isn’t slow or boring. The script is thought-provoking and the Writer/Director (Alex Garland) gets fine performances out of all 4 leads, especially Oscar Isaac.
This is a unique film and I can’t recall seeing anything like it, except for “2001.” You will reflect on it long after the film ends.