I Am Mother (2019) Review

Directed by Grant Sputore

Written by Micheal Lloyd Green, Grant Sputore

Staring Clara Rugaard, Rose Byrne, Hilary Swank

Rated: TV-14

Run-time: 1h53m

Genre: Drama, Horror, Sci-fi 

Rotten Tomatoes: 90%

The film is available on Netflix.

In the wake of humanity’s extinction, a teenage girl is raised by a robot designed to repopulate the earth. But their unique bond is threatened when a stranger arrives with alarming news.

I watched the trailer for this film almost as soon as it came out. The title and thumbnail did little to reveal the true nature of the film and I wasn’t particularly interested in it until I actually watched the trailer. The trailer does a good job of showing the viewer that this film definitely has a mysterious aspect to it. The only downside is that it also manages to present the film as a classic AI-takes-over sort of film. The concept itself is not cliche, but at this point it’s becoming more so due to the over-saturation of stories regarding the techno-apocalypse. As a result, I’ve watched many movies that fall under this sub-genre but this film is an interesting presentation of these concepts. 

This film presents expository information in a very interesting way, that at face value seems simple and unimportant only to later reveal it really is very important to the plot as it unfolds. Time is measured in days, rather than years, which later proves to be a key in what is considered the big reveal. This decision is ingenious because when you see that it’s been 13,867 days since the infamous “extinction event” you are not immediately aware of exactly how long that is because we’re used to being presented this information in a more understandable year-based timeframe.

There are a lot of admirable aspects of this film. The acting is good, the visual storytelling is very good and the use of practical effects is present (which itself is amazing). In times like this I find myself a little disappointed that Netflix originals generally don’t include behind-the-scenes featurettes because God! I would love to see how they implemented the practical effects in the production to achieve such smooth yet robotic movements. (From what I currently understand the character of “Mother” was an actor in a suit, but I still like to know the process of learning how to move in the suit and imitate mechanical movements in such a believable manner.)

I also very much enjoyed the story this film is trying to tell. There is a level of moral greyness and ambiguity at times that makes the actions of the characters more unnerving. In the end, some details are left open, but not to the detriment of the film. You are likely to be left with more questions than you started with, but in a good way.

It goes without saying this movie is highly recommended.

Subjective Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Objective Rating

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Final Rating

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

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