A couple weeks ago I saw the movie Ex Machina. Like most movies these days the best sequences were in the previews, so needless to say it wasn’t quite as “thrilling” as it was made out to be, but it was entertaining nonetheless.
The story revolves around 3 main characters:
Caleb: A typical beta schlub who works in a cubicle farm as a coder for a company called Bluebook which is the world’s largest search engine (a “pseudo Google”). He has no girlfriend, and is severely emotionally damaged on account of his parents dying in a car accident (with him in the car) at a young age.
Nathan: The billionaire genius alcoholic (who is probably insane) who founded and owns Bluebook. Nathan lives in a mansion in the mountains that doubles as a research laboratory where he is currently working on his android…
Ava: A female android built from the ground up by Nathan. Ava is the latest in a long line of androids built to test Nathan’s artificial intelligence project.
The long and the short of the plot is that Caleb wins a company-wide “contest” to spend a week with Nathan in his palatial abode. Caleb has no idea why he’s there until Nathan reveals to him that he, Caleb, is there to participate in a Turing test to determine the success of his A.I. project.
Caleb later figures out that it wasn’t his merit that won him the contest, but rather his background and otherwise pathetic social life. He was an extraordinarily needy male who was starving for affection and Nathan, who displays dark triad traits throughout the movie, seized this opportunity to make Caleb his guinea pig for Ava.
The plot thickens (spoiler alert)
Caleb eventually meets Ava face to face and is observed from afar by Nathan. In the beginning they make small talk but as the sessions with her progress, Caleb quickly grows emotionally attached to her.
From the onset it looks as though Ava’s feelings are mutual. She draws Caleb a portrait of himself, dresses in clothes to make herself look more human and even asks him at one point if he is attracted to her.
Ava would increasingly escalate her stranglehold on Caleb’s psyche with various manipulation tactics. She would seductively undress herself when she all but knew Caleb was watching her the monitor in his room, she bad mouths Nathan calling him a liar, and even says at one point “I want to be with you.”
Caleb would then attempt to hatch a plan to escape with Ava and leave Nathan trapped in his fortress to rot away and die. Nathan learns of Caleb’s plan but he doesn’t hold it against him. The billionaire understood how effective the A.I. in his android would be so he cut the underling some slack and decided to bury the hatchet.
But the damage had already been done. Caleb’s thirst allowed a robot to infiltrate his mind and turn him against the man who signs his checks. Having already putting the wheels in motion for he and Ava’s escape, the plan severely backfires, leaving Nathan dead and Caleb trapped in the research lab.
Despite the undoings of Caleb and Nathan, the turing test was an astounding success. The artificial intelligence in Ava’s programming did exactly what it was supposed to do and displayed true feminine traits with shocking accuracy. Here are the best examples:
1. She used her sexual allure
Toward the end of the movie Nathan reveals to Caleb that he used a compilation of Caleb’s porn searches to construct Ava’s face. It probably wouldn’t have taken that level of manipulation to accomplish oneitis but billionaires rarely leave anything to chance.
Ava consistently made long eye contact, subtle sexual body language, and flirtation narrative to win the heart and mind of the naive Caleb. This is something women do on a daily basis without even thinking about it.
2. She used the “damsel in distress” technique
Never once did Ava actually ask Caleb to help her escape. But make no mistake about the fact that he was led to this idea by the manipulative android. It was her clear programmed objective as Nathan stated in a conversation with his employee.
Her voice cues and inflections always changed when she discussed her surroundings. She never flat out said she was trapped and wanted out but she made damn sure she elicited pity from Caleb. At one point he asks her “Have you ever been outside of this room?” Ava knew at that point she had him right where she wanted him.
Turning unsuspecting men into a captain save-a-hoe is a technique women have been using forever. They lead males to believe their circumstances are worse than they really are or that their position in life isn’t their doing. Men who are none the wiser allow their provider instinct to kick in which leads to their collective demise much more often than not.
3. Once she had what she needed she discarded Caleb
When it became clear to Ava that she was free to leave at her discretion, Caleb immediately became an afterthought. Having killed Nathan she knew the last roadblock to her freedom was out of the way. All she had to do now was escape with Caleb to live happily ever after right? After all, if not for him she’d still be trapped, so she would certainly reward his chivalry with her undying loyalty and devotion, wouldn’t she?
If you frequent sites like this you already know that’s not even close to what happened. After Ava proceeded to pillage parts from previous versions of the other female androids to piece together quite an attractive body, she left the compound without so much as a second glance at Caleb, who was now trapped in a room where he would either die of starvation or suicide.
Women are only as loyal as their objective requires. Once they achieve said objective, they discard all unnecessary parts—namely men. They feel absolutely no remorse about leaving men broken (and broke) and emotionally shattered in their wake. True to form, Ava walked up those stairs and out of that house without a second thought about the man who literally gave his life for her freedom.
All in all Ex Machina was a pretty solid flick. In hindsight I should have waited until the DVD came out but I’m glad I saw it just the same (the girl I saw it with sneaked vodka into the theater which is a whole ‘nother article altogether).
The red pill undertones of this movie were as clear as day, not the least of which was a female android turning a vulnerable beta into a white knight as a means to an end. This proves that even in the land of Hollywood, neomasculine truths, though rare, occasionally make their way onto the big screen.
Though it’s not the best movie I’ve ever seen I’d strongly recommend anyone who doubts the ironclad doctrine of AWALT to check it out.