Sometimes, Disappointing your Parents can feel like the end of the world…well, you aren’t wrong.
DIRECTOR: Grant Sputore
STARRING: Luke Hakwer, Rose Byrne, Hilary Swank, Clara Ruggard
SCREENPLAY: Michael Lloyd Green
GENRE: Drama/Horror/Sci Fi
RUNTIME: 193 Minutes
On the surface this was a seemingly typical End of the World type Sci-Fi Film. After the destruction of the human race, a robotic surrogate mother is tasked with repopulating the world, by raising children from Embryos stored in an underground bunker. The story follows the first of these children as she discovers some shocking truths about her ‘perfect’ life.
Before we get started, I would like to clarify that a lot of what I am about to discuss contains spoilers, as it is crazy hard to discuss this film without spoilers, and that a lot of it is conjecture as a lot of things are left unanswered in this film. Not my favourite thing at all!
Visibly and cinematically this film is freaking beautiful. The set pieces both inside and outside of the bunker are breath taking. A lot of thought clearly went into the presentation of this film, especially after the arrival of Hilary Swank’s character. A perfect way to show the difference life outside and inside the compound can make. Everything inside is perfect, a perfect state of being to go along with ‘Mother’s’ idea of the ‘Perfect human’ we suppose. And with the arrival of Hilary Swanks character, whose name we never learn and who is even listed on IMBD as purely ‘woman’ we see what humans become if they are left to flourish on the outside. Violent, distrusting and manipulative.
Performances on all sides were amazing; Clara Ruggard gets a special shout out as I imagine t cannot be easy performing the vast majority of your scenes opposite a literalrobot. And as the film progresses and we see her character grow and develop. The call for her to express more emotion and talent opposite her emotionless scene partner is highlighted even more. The climax of the film when she is face to face with ‘mother’ is a truly spectacular performance for a young actress.
A great sense of tension is built up throughout the film. Even at the beginning when things are idyllic and there is apparently nothing to be worried about you are still biting your nails because you know that something bad is coming. And sure enough, as we head into the second act we begin to suspect that things are not exactly what they appear. The reveal at the end of what was truly going on is kind of a double-edged sword.
You do get that shocking, gasping moment of ‘Holy **** I did not see that coming’ unless you have seen more than a handful of sci-fi films, then you probably had at least some idea. But so much at the end of the film is left unsaid that it is unclear how you should feel.
NOTICE:: Everything from now on will be spoilery and a lot is conjecture built up from other sources I have read online.
Are we to assume that everything that happened between ‘daughter’ and ‘Woman’ (not kidding that is what their characters are called) was all a test set up by mother to make sure her training is suitably effective?
Seeing as mother seems pleased before she allows her daughter to shoot her, Can we also assume that she passed the test?
It is heavily implied during Hilary Swank’s final encounter with mother that she was one of the previous children raised in the bunker, if this is so, it would have been great to see her discover this and also have ‘Daughter’ discover this as well rather than it just be drop mentioned once then forgotten about.
Is her daughter now going to take it upon herself to raise all the remaining children in the bunker, the final shot seemed to imply so, and if so, is she going to instil all of mother’s lessons or let humanity take its own course? So many plot holes, so few answers.
Definitely not a film for everyone, And far too open-ended for me. Do you like films with ambiguous endings? Lets talk about it.
I AM MOTHER is available to watch on Netflix now.
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