As we finished the movie Ex Machina in class today, there were many questions left with the audience. When looking up the actual meaning of the title, I discovered that it comes from “Deus ex Machina” which is a phrase used to describe something brought into a storyline to help resolve the current situation or perplexity. “Ex Machina” itself just means “from the machine”. When examining the title in relation to Ava, it is clear that the writers intended Ava to be seen as a machine and nothing more.
- Ex Machina movie clips: THE MOVIE: miss the HOTTEST NEW TRAILERS: DESCRIPTION:Natha.
- It appears Nathan is a step ahead though, because he informs Caleb he overheard his conversation with Ava and then he reveals that Caleb is actually the one being tested and not Ava. He goes onto explain that he researched Caleb’s internet profile and searches and chose him as the test subject because he fit the profile he was looking for.
- Ava tells Caleb he shouldn't trust Nathan. When Ava kills Nathan with the help of Kyoko, he can’t believe that he created something that led to his death. He's freaked out and probably scared for what will happen next, because he knows she's dangerous and not program to live in the real society, she's not a complete success.
Ava may have told Kyoko that penetrating Nathan's body with a knife would give him pleasure. The simplest explanation would be that she just instructed Kyoko to walk behind Nathan, hold the knife and stand there. If you watch the scene carefuly you'll see that Kyoko wasn't even looking at Nathan, but towards the knife/ground.
Ex Machina Wiki
Ava is first introduced as a cutting edge experiment and a scientific breakthrough. This initial representation makes the viewer interested in if the robot will pass the Turing Test, which is why Caleb is there in the first place. As the character of Ava develops, the audience believes that she passes the Turing Test with flying colors due to her emotional need and connection to Caleb. As we know since finishing the movie, Ava’s actual intent with Caleb is brought into question. In the end, she leaves him locked in a room to die without assisting him like he assisted her. This one action leaves an giant question in the audience’s mind. Did Ava really pass the Turing Test? The purpose of the test is to prove that the AI is not just as smart as a human, but that it is completely indistinguishable from humans. While Ava proved her intelligence, she did not prove her emotions. While she may have been able to trick Caleb into believing that she cared for him, it was ultimately just a well-executed ploy. Since passing the Turing Test requires the robot to be equivalent to a human being, I believe that Ava fails the test. A normal, stable minded human would assist the person who aided in their escape. This is another question – did Ava see Caleb as a someone special, or was he just a tool? Did she have TOO MUCH emotion and get overwhelmed with her freedom, and is that what led to her leaving Caleb? This movie leaves many questions in our minds, most of which have to do with Ava. She could be dissected psychologically in so many ways, but ultimately what drove her to act as she did would be her lack of human emotion. Therefore, I believe it to be important that the audience decides for themselves if she truly passed the Turing Test or not. Answering this question will hopefully give the viewers a better understanding of Ava as a whole. Is Ava just a machine, or is she one step closer to becoming a human?
‘Ex Machina‘ is a pretty crazy movie that leaves you thinking about it for quite some time after you watch it. In his directorial debut, ’28 Days Later’ and ‘Dredd’ screenwriter Alex Garland delivers a fascinating yet twisted sci-fi story of artificial intelligence and its relationship to the human race. And by the time you reach the end, you have to unpack the intense and unsettling messages that it explores. But apparently it was meant to end in an entirely different way that probably would have added an entirely new layer to Ava’s relationship with people.
If you haven’t seen the movie yet, now would be a good time to turn around because we’re about to talk about the end of ‘Ex Machina,’ which means that there are SPOILERS. Don’t say that I didn’t warn you.
Ex Machina Ava Kills Nathan Lane
At the end of the movie, the AI known as Ava kills her creator Nathan, traps her new friend Caleb in the airtight underground bunker that is completely cut off from the world, and escapes into the real world thanks to a helicopter that is meant to take Caleb back to civilization after he was finished conducting tests with Nathan and Ava. One way to interpret this is that Ava wants to escape her captors and experience the world in a way that she never has before. She just wants to live among other free beings essentially.
However, the original ending would have added a new context to her motivations and her perspective. While speaking to Den of Geek, stars Oscar Isaac and Alicia Vikander reveal that the original ending would have included a last minute revelation that would have greatly changed Ava’s dynamics with the other characters in the film. Vikander starts by recalling the first version of the final scene with the helicopter:
“It was his line [and] it was a very cool thing. You saw his face moving, but from her point of view, it was just like pulses and sounds coming out. That’s what she reads.”
Confused? Yeah I was too. But luckily Isaac elaborated a little bit on the alternate ending:
“So in that scene, what used to happen is you’d see her talking, and you wouldn’t hear, but all of a sudden it would cut to her point of view. And her point of view is completely alien to ours. There’s no actual sound; you’d just see pulses and recognitions, and all sorts of crazy stuff, which conceptually is very interesting. It was that moment where you think, ‘Oh she was lying!’ But maybe not, because even though she still experiences differently, it doesn’t mean that it’s not consciousness. But I think ultimately that maybe it just didn’t work in the cut.”
Okay, I think I get it, but it’s still a little confusing. Like Isaac said, it would have been cool conceptually, but at the end of the day, I could see why they cut it and kept the ending more open than this. But if Garland had chosen to keep this ending for ‘Ex Machina,’ it definitely would have fit in with all the other interesting ideas found within his story. Plus, we’d probably be thinking about the message of the movie for twice as long. Either way, I’d say that it’s worth checking out the film again to fully experience it with and without this new knowledge about Ava.
What do you think about this alternate ending for ‘Ex Machina’? Would you have preferred that Alex Garland went with this one instead? Or are you already thinking on too many levels without it? Share your thoughts and theories in the comments below.