The Film I Am Mother: What Will Happen If Artificial Intelligence Rules The World. I Am Mother: Plot Analysis & Meaning Of The Film, Explanation Of The Ending
Genre: fantasy, thriller, drama, detective
Year of production: 2018
Directed by: Grant Spewtor
Cast: Clara Rugor, Rose Byrne, Hilary Swank, Luke Hawker
I Am Mother offers the viewer a far from new story related to the post-apocalyptic future of mankind. However, there is a deep philosophical idea here, which, in fact, distinguishes this work from the background of numerous anti-utopias. Let’s analyze the plot and the meaning of the film I Am Mother.
The plot of the movie
Let’s start the review with an analysis of the general storyline. The concept of the film can hardly be called fresh. The film I Am Mother begins with the fact that the first day of a new era has come since the destruction of mankind. At a well-equipped station, a droid calling herself Mother is conducting an experiment to revive civilization. For this, artificial intelligence has 63,000 embryos at its disposal.
Frame from the film.
The viewer is then transported to the future, when 13,867 days have passed since the start of the experiment. A girl grew up at the base, whom Mother simply calls Daughter. The child is comprehensively developed, does not need anything, constantly passes tests and passes exams. At the same time, Mother throws up rather non-trivial tasks: five patients need a transplant of donor organs, the sixth is in critical condition, but his organs are suitable for everyone. Who saves a life: one or five?
The daughter, who, by the way, does not even have a name, is sure that it is very dangerous behind the walls of the bunker. The surface of the earth is infected. So told her Mother, who never makes a mistake. However, soon there is a reason to question the words of the droid. The power cable is damaged at the station. The daughter fixes the problem and catches the culprit of the accident – a rat. The rodent clearly confirms that there is life outside the station, however, the Mother sends the animal into the furnace.
Another significant event is about to take place. A Woman knocks on the door of the bunker, begging to be let in. The daughter opens the door. The woman is wounded, and the girl decides to help her in secret from the Mother.
When the droid finds out about the intruder, the Woman tries to kill him. Despite this, the Mother tries to help the victim and moves her to the medical unit. The bullet needs to be removed from the Woman, but the Victim categorically refuses to be operated on by a “bulldozer”. As a result, the bullet is retrieved by Daughter.
For the first time in her life, the girl sees another person, so she spends her free time at the patient’s bed. The woman says that other people live in the mines, who are hiding from the droids. According to her, robots prey on people, and it was they who destroyed humanity.
The daughter does not believe, and decides to check the words of the woman. She finds human remains in the furnace, and understands that the Mother has repeatedly grown people at the station, but when they did not meet her expectations, she mercilessly destroyed them.
Hilary Swank as the Wounded Woman. Frame from the film.
The daughter agrees to run away with her new acquaintance in order to join other people, but she is stopped by the gift of the Mother – the droid allows the girl to raise her brother herself.
The woman insists on escaping, assuring that it will be too late later, and there are people in the mines who can help save her brother. The daughter agrees, and despite the fact that the Mother reveals her plan, she leaves the bunker together with her new acquaintance.
Outside, the girl sees a depressing picture: gray dust, devastation, nothing alive. However, the biggest shock is yet to come. It turns out that the Woman left the mines a long time ago and is sure that there are no survivors left there for a long time. She offers Daughter to stay with her, but the girl comes back to save her brother.
Here the Daughter has a conversation with the Mother, during which it turns out that artificial intelligence provoked a global catastrophe on the planet. The droid that Daughter always called Mom is just one of his shells.
The Mother says that the Daughter has fully justified her expectations, and pushes her child so that the girl shoots her in the central processor. As a result, the Daughter is left alone at the station with a baby and thousands of embryos to grow.
At the end of the movie I Am Mother, one of the droids comes to the dwelling where the Woman lives, who speaks to the Woman in the voice of the Mother, after which he closes the door of the container, left alone with her. The film’s ending is pretty straightforward, although the interpretation of the meaning suggests an open ending. Let’s try to correctly place the accents discussed in the description.
The meaning of the ending
In general, the interpretation and meaning of the finale of this dystopia have a completely logical explanation. The daughter remains at the base, having taken over the reins of the experiment from the Mother. The girl showed the robot her responsibility and ability to take care of others.
The point here is that even the most advanced artificial intelligence is unable to calculate the human soul.
Therefore, following her algorithms, Mother would only produce identical people. However, human individuals must be unique. Therefore, the main task of this experiment was to bring out only one human individual, devoid of human weaknesses and shortcomings. Ready to take care of others, even to the detriment of their own interests. On the example of the Daughter, the Mother coped with this task completely and went into the shadows, hinting that she might appear when needed.
The explanation for the Woman in the Bunker ending is also quite simple. The droid knowingly asked if she remembered her mother? The woman and other people in the mines were only part of the experiment. Here it can be assumed that the Mother brought out a certain group of test subjects and left them to develop in a society of their own kind. However, the experience was unsuccessful. According to Woman, “people did terrible things.” This gives reason to believe that the unsuccessful branch of the experiment was simply destroyed.
Here it is also worth paying attention to the time of the experiment itself – 13,867 days. This is almost 38 years, which is quite consistent with the age of the Woman. Her mother deliberately left her alive, and then, with the help of droids, drove her out of the shelter to the doors of the bunker in order to complete the round of a successful experiment.
After that, the spent material was destroyed so as not to spoil the result. This is the meaning of the ending of the film I Am Mother: preparations for the settlement of the planet by people are fully completed.
A still from a film that was filmed on a New Zealand beach called Karekare.
The meaning of the film
Director Grant Spewtor asked a number of ethical questions about AI with this film.
How can we teach artificial intelligence to be “good” if we don’t know how to do it ourselves yet? And what does it mean to be “good” in general, what actions are considered right, which are not?
Is it humane to kill one terminally ill person in order to save five? Was the mother right when she sacrificed “unsuccessful” representatives of the human race in order to bring out ideal people? There is no clear answer here.
The plot also has a hidden meaning. The clue here lies in the name itself. Unlike the rental interpretation, the original title translates as “I am a mother.” This is what makes sense.
The droid was able to grow a person who fully satisfies the concept of “ideal individual”. However, the machine could not give its creation only one thing – maternal instinct. Surely the first group of bred people bred and multiplied in their society, but this did not lead to anything good.
After considering all possible options, AI chose a different path. The droid made a girl who had never been pregnant feel like a mother. It was for this that the brother’s embryo began to be grown. To do this, the AI allowed the Daughter to leave with the Woman.
Frame from the film.
At the end, the Mother says that the Daughter fully justified her expectations. That’s right, because she, risking herself, not being afraid of the droids, returned for her brother to take care of him. She gave a girl a man to feel like a mother, not being such in the physical plane.
When the idea was successful, the robot withdrew itself and gave the girl the right to take up the revival of humanity, having calculated that she would be an ideal mother for this.