When I bought this film, I wasn’t quite sure what I was getting myself into. Sure, I’d seen the trailer, but that barely skimmed the surface. What we have here, is a skillfully crafted story of a man’s relationship with an artificially intelligent operating system called Samantha.
Before we go any further, I’d like to point out that there are no spoilers. Now that sticky wicket is out of the way, let’s get down to it.
This film is a powerful and moving story of a man called Theodore who has given up on love. Considering his job, this can’t have been easy for him. He is reminded on a daily basis of just how wonderful this emotion is. But it is like he is existing in a world that is familiar, but no longer belongs to him.
Like all love films, a new interest arrives in his life. A gentle spark of happiness and kookiness (can an AI even be kooky?) that triggers something in him. The journey is of course fraught with the ups and downs of reality. So much so that I wondered if it would turn out okay in the end.
While watching the film, I found his friend’s and colleague’s acceptance of his love for a machine, somewhat unsettling. That is what this film is about, though. It is meant to challenge our way of thinking. Is it morally wrong to fall in love with an AI? The second point it raises, is to show just how easy it is.
In a strange way, I can see it happening already. People meet online to talk, to play, to socialise. We’ve heard stories of men playing as women and vice versa, so its not that big a leap to use a machine.
At the moment our current AI incarcerations come across as petulant pre-teens. Given time though, it is quite possible a full-blown adult (by that I mean, fully developed and mature) AI will be the norm. I’m sure some people will be outraged and claim this will be the death knell for humanity, but that doesn’t give this race the credit it deserves. There is a need for vigilance, however.
Casting Joaquin Phoenix as Theodore was an excellent decision. He didn’t just make Theodore likeable, he was positively human. His performance was difficult to watch at times, why, because I could see elements of myself in him.
So, could I love an AI just as he did. Yes, I probably could. Does that disturb me? Just a little.
Now that I have given my opinion of this film, I’d like to hear what you think.