Saturday, April 9, 2011

A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)

What is it that makes us more human when compared with synthetic intelligence? Is it the essence of mere flesh & blood or is it the soul which really defines us. Perhaps it is way too multifaceted to talk about; if such idea can be turned to a vision in the light of movie making it becomes rather unique or too tricky to comprehend. Today, Steven Spielberg’s Artificial Intelligence is one of the most underrated movies in the science fiction genre. Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey had a similar providence when it was first screened in 1968. Apart from rich visuals this movie deals with an idea which is not singular in today’s world; what makes it more inimitable & personal is the depth of rational approach seamlessly blended with science fiction.

“But in the beginning, didn’t God create Adam to love him?” ~ Prof. Allen Hobby

At the very beginning we are told that global warming has caused the melting of the polar ice caps. With most of the coastline cities under water, human population too has taken its toll. To substitute the retreating humanity; Cybertronics, a leading android manufacturer introduced ‘Mechas’ a new type of humanoid androids capable of emulating emotions. Meet David, a small robotic boy & the first android ever programmed to feel & love back. As an audition he was sent as a surrogate for the distraught couple Henry Swinton & his wife Monica who had their son Martin cryogenically frozen until a cure was found for his terminal illness. At first the thought of bringing a robot as a substitute for a son infuriated Monica however David’s innocence & unrestricted love finally lets her to open up & reciprocate. When Martin comes home after being cured a sibling jealousy gets ensued which leads to a tragedy leading Monica to abandon David in a forest instead of handing him to Cybertronics for destruction.

“They made us too smart, too quick & too many. We suffer for their mistakes because when the end comes…all that will be left is us!” ~ Gigolo Joe

From here the film portrays the journey made by David to find a place in a society ravaged by hate by some sect who considered ‘Mechas’ as an abomination & tried to eliminate them systematically at ‘Flesh Fair’. This movie ventures into the world of human psyche to recognize who are more humane us or the so called artificial intelligence. The foundation of any drama depends on the relation within the characters.
David’s desire to reunite with Monica till the very end takes this movie more towards spiritual than metaphysical heights.

As always the story alone cannot make or break a movie. Haley Joel Osment as David put forth another dazzling performance since The Sixth Sense. Jude Law as Gigolo Joe flared the second half, even-handed by William Hurt as Professor Allen Hobby & Frances O’Connor as Monica Swinton. With poignant soundtrack Artificial Intelligence is audacious, thought provoking & visually brilliant. No movie has ever explored the worlds of robots & humans so extensively.

My Rating : 9/10

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