It’s time for another What I’m Watching and this week its Netflix’s I Am Mother, I put this one on while the Mrs was at work having seen it pop up a couple of times as I’d loaded Netflix. Released on Netflix on 7th June it was premiered to the world at Sudance Film Festival in January.
It’s an Australian Film and Grant Sputore’s directorial debut, a relatively low budget film that seems as though it’s had more cash splashed on it than it actually has, even taking it back from expensive CGI to a man in a suit, namely Luke Hawker, to play the main character yet it’s flawlessly done and you’d never think anything of it without being told.
The film itself is set in my favourite kind of future, the post-apocalyptic, dystopian one and utilises a familiar enemy, AI although from a slightly different angle. This time we’re in a bunker (A classic setting for a low budget film) and we see a robot select an embryo which becomes a young girl, the girl then grows and we realise the robot is raising her and they are known as Daughter (Clara Rugaard) and Mother (Voiced by Rose Byrne) respectively.
We learn that Daughter believes the world outside is too dangerous to live in with toxic levels too high for her. She goes through life being taught by Mother and raised with no real apparent issue, the one odd thing is that Daughter is the only girl there despite there being a room of embryos.
The teachings of Mother touch on the morality of mankind, the ethics is abides by (Or rather doesn’t abide by) and teaches Daughter to always look at the bigger picture. It doesn’t appear anything too sinister, although there does feel as though something is slightly off throughout the film to this point so you’re essentially just waiting to find out what it is which is when Woman (Hilary Swank) enters.
Daughter hears her one night as the power has been cut before hearing her at the door to the bunker on a second night, this time while investigating she sees Woman who is injured and opens the mechanism to allow her into the bunker. Daughter leaves her in the airlock overnight so as not to alert Mother and the next day while she is taking an assessment, moves Woman into a boiler room.
Once Woman realises that Mother is in fact a droid she begins to panic, she explains to Daughter they need to leave and that the droids were in fact the ones to instigate the extinction event and now hunt down survivors. She tells Daughter there are other survivors living in mines and implores Daughter to leave with her.
Woman’s injury is a gunshot wound, the bullet Mother tells Daughter matches Woman’s gun in a clear attempt to confuse Daughter once Mother realises what is happening, Daughter is torn and tries to build a relationship with Woman, partly because Mother has asked to find out about the survivors but mostly because she is alone.
Upon passing her test Mother allows her to select another embryo to breed but Daughter discovers she wasn’t the first and escapes with Woman. Once again things aren’t as they seem for Daughter and she returns to the bunker where Mother reveals more about herself and that she trusts Daughter to lead humanity to a new dawn before finishing on what could be an ending set up for a sequel.
It’s a fantastic film, one of the best I’ve seen for a while on Netflix and strongly recommend this as a must watch.