Re: Movie Review - AI Artificial Intelligence

Date: Mon Jul 02 2001 - 18:16:59 MDT

Brent writes, quoting Hal
> > The movie is not about people's inhumanity to robots, it's
> > about people's inhumanity to people. It's not about a robot who
> > learns to love, it's about love itself and the pain and joy it can
> > bring.
> Oh wow! I didn't realize this. This is very profound. I
> think you are completely right and the movie does do this
> fantastically. Thanks for pointing this out.

I don't mean to overstate this, because of course everyone reacts to a
movie differently and I don't want to say that some reactions are right
and others wrong. Analyzing the movie in terms of what it tells us
about robot design is still an interesting exercise. But to consider
what Spielberg and/or Kubrick were trying to accomplish, we have to
think more in terms of a mainstream audience.

[Spoilers are present below]

There's a subtext in the movie I haven't seen discussed, which is
the religious aspect. I mentioned Joe's comment about church, about
searching for their makers. In a way, David's odyssey can be seen as
a search for God. He seeks the love of a human being, and humans are
his creators. In the same way many people feel a deep desire to be
loved by their own image of their creator.

It's always seemed to me that the belief in god, and more specifically
the *need* to believe in god, stems from early childhood, when one's
parents have god-like powers. As we get older we find that this isn't
so and become disillusioned, but we never lose the craving to return to
that state of certainty.

The movie plays with this theme: Monica as mother, as goddess; Dr. Hobby
as father, as creator, as god. This suggests a reason (in terms of
the dramatic structure) why David never bonds with Monica's husband:
without realizing it he is searching all the time for his true father,
his creator. And we learn eventually that David has been created in
the image of Dr. Hobby's lost son.

In the end, David is brought back together with his mother, his goddess,
in a golden, glowing, perfect day. It's not unlike many people's visions
of Heaven, to be reunited with loved ones, to be reunited with God.
Heavenly visions are traditionally depicted with in glowing colors,
suffused with light, just as the final sequence is shot. And of course
the final part is an afterlife for David, who is revived after a "death".


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