The Nature of Robots


The title of Alex Garland's 2015 thoughtful psychological thriller Ex Machina derives its name from the ancient Greek phrase deus ex machina, meaning'god from the machine.' By omitting the deus from the film's title, it's clear Garland wants his audience to question both the roles of God and man. There's the godly referencing and positioning of Oscar Isaacs's secluded genius, Nathan, the creator of Ava, a robot with consciousness played by Alicia Vikander. And Ava's emotional existence itself goes against the idea of the natural in God, since she is a manmade creation. Meanwhile, the natural world of Ex Machina -- the trees that blend Nathan's perfectly rectangular home into the forest -- acts as a direct juxtaposition to the technological imagery that fills the rest of the film.

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