Netflix Film Review: I Am Mother –– Is It Worth A Watch?
In I Am Mother, the story follows a teenage girl is raised by a robot designed to repopulate the earth. But their unique bond is threatened when an inexplicable stranger arrives with alarming news.
A Sneak Peek Into Netflix “I Am Mother”
Over the course of a few centuries, the planet has been destroyed beyond repair. Human greed destroyed this planet Earth that we called home, and with it, also killing their own species. Everyone was dead, either death to hunger or due to the toxic level of chemicals in the air. Everyone but one, a baby. A girl. What makes her so special, this girl? Other than the fact that she might just be the only human alive on Earth.
What makes her so special, is not exactly her itself, but her robot mother. Only known as mother to both the little girl as well as the viewers, the robot was the one who initiated the program to grow the human embryo into a baby, and took care of the girl, and raised it into childhood.
There were times, now and again, where the little girl would ask Mother why she was the only child when there were so many embryos stored in the bunker where they live. Time and again she would wonder the same thing, bringing it up every now and again when she felt lonely for some human connection. However, Mother’s response was always the same: that she needed time to learn to take care of a human child.
Time ebbs and flows, the little girl who wasn’t even able to walk without assistance a decade or so ago now have grown into an eloquent young woman who is not only smart but is also endlessly curious about the world before her. The world outside her bunker. She would ask to leave the bunker, not failing to tell Mother that she would take all precautions necessary to be safe and not let the toxic air kill her. But Mother would have none of it, Mother was too worried. She cared about her daughter too much to be able to let her leave the premises by herself. For the first few times, Daughter acquiesced. However, the longer she spent inside the bunker looking out to the sunshine that would shine its rays into the bunker, the desire to break free grew too.
I mean, it isn’t like she was trying to run away from home. All she wanted was to explore, to see what the world outside of the bunker is like. Plus, if it’s just the air that is toxic, as long as she suits up, it should be fine, right?
Daughter took a few days to reason with herself and build up the courage. Finally, on one day when Mother is recharging for the night, Daughter snuck into the front gate of the bunker and was all ready to explore the outside world when she heard a banging on the bunker door. Who could that be? Another human? That can’t be, Mother said everyone is dead. That she is the only human alive, but if that is the case then who is banging on the bunker door asking for help right now?
Should she open the door? Or keep it close? She was scared, but at the same time, she was also curious. She knew if she were to open this door and Mother were to find out, Mother would definitely be upset with her. But if she didn’t, the person on the other end might die––if it is a person at all. What should she do?
3 Words to Sum Up This Film
DYSTOPIAN, ENRAPTURING, THOUGHT-PROVOKING
Man, sometimes I look back at my life pre-Netflix and wondered how I have lived my life without all these fun amazing shows and movies all those years. I know I sound like I am paid to promote Netflix, but your girl ain’t––I mean, if Netflix does want to sponsor this blog please hit a girl up, I never say no *wink wink*. But seriously, before Netflix I would always say that I am not a big fan of tv shows and movies, to be honest, I’m still not but having Netflix has helped me discover so many new tv shows, documentaries, and films that I wouldn’t have otherwise.
Still, one of my happiest investments to date. If you can call Netflix subscription an investment that is.
END OF THE WORLD IS HERE
I will try to keep this as spoiler-free as possible, but of course, please do know that your girl is no saint and that I might slip up in certain places and mentioned a spoiler or two in this review. For that, I apologize.
Plot-wise for I Am Mother, personally I believe it to be quite creative. I mean, movies about the end of the world are plentiful and I Am Mother as a film is not unique in that sense. However, the fact that this movie took a different route that could be perceived as more “peaceful” compared to the usual bombings, people dying, barren fields that we would usually see in dystopian movies is what made it stick out. For a movie that is about the end of the world, I find it so fascinating that the characters––both Mother and Daughter––were basically in the bunker all the time, living quite peacefully with one another yet the threat of the outside world, as well as the destruction that has happened all around, was still so real.
Personally, I find her very intriguing but also lacking in some parts. In the film, although she is on screen for a lot of the time, all they portray Mother to be is just someone who takes care of the bunker as well as Daughter. While her personality wasn’t exactly the blandest, but I find myself being curious to want to learn and know more about her. The back story about how she got her responsibilities, the trials and errors of raising a child alone––despite her being a robot––you know, all those things. Did she have a life pre-bunker?
Because sometimes in the movie when I was watching the interaction between Mother and Daughter, while Mother’s voice was warm and caring, at times everything just felt very clinical between the two of them. It was as if there was no love at all in their relationship. Which, granted, a robot doesn’t feel love. I don’t know, I guess I just felt lonely for the Daughter at times since I understand the kind of emotional connection that the daughter needs that wasn’t able to be fulfilled by Mother.
Or perhaps, that is exactly what the movie wants you to think and feel and it’s all a big mind-fuck?
I like her. Very tenacious and curious, also very brave. One thing that got me curious though was the fact that she was just so okay with doing everything by herself. I suppose it just got me thinking because towards the middle of the film Daughter started to get more and more stubborn about wanting to see the outside world, I wondered if it was due to the fact that something was lacking in their Mother-Daughter relationship, or was that just pure curiosity and wanting to explore.
Also, it was funny to me to see how in the whole time that they lived together, Daughter never once had a tantrum that would push Mother over the edge and have Mother show Daughter another side of her. Especially since she’s a teenager for a good chunk of the movie, I would have expected her to be a little bit more rebellious but alas, Daughter does seem to be someone who is more logical than emotional, so that might be why.
The only thing that made this film as good as it is, is the twist and turns that happened throughout the movie. There were times where I felt like I have guessed a plotline out, but then something would happen to make me second guess myself. That back and forth of will-it-won’t-it is quite fun, at least for me personally.
That aside though, I feel like the stakes in this movie are too low. I mean, there were some, but not enough to have my heart beating out of my ribcage if you get what I mean. I would have liked for there to be a bigger threat, other than the toxic air and Mother. I mean, the end reveal was quite interesting as well as unexpected and all that, but it isn’t exactly something that is very out of the box either if you get what I mean?
Would I recommend I Am Mother, I would incline to say yes. While it is not perfect and there are parts where I felt like it should have been better fleshed out that would give the film more substance, all in all, it was still a good watch. Especially if you’re the kind of person who likes to think about the philosophical part of life, I think I Am Mother will give you a lot of good things to consider and mull over.
With that said, I Am Mother is not a particularly heavy film with a lot of lengthy and undecipherable plot twists. It is unique in the sense that it’s quite different from the dystopian movies that I have seen before, yet this isn’t exactly a once-in-a-lifetime must watch either. So to watch or not to watch, that will be for you, dear reader, to decide.
“You don’t feel that every human has intrinsic value and an equal right to life and happiness?”
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