Noob Reviews: I Am Mother
Updated: Jan 15, 2020
Please be advised that during the review, I have tried to avoid a lot of spoilers. However, there may still be a few included to help explain certain points.
What is I Am Mother?
I Am Mother is a Netflix backed film, which sees us thrown into a post-apocalyptic setting with heavy sci-fi themes. Although it does attempt to touch on other areas such as the psychological, thriller and a small bit of horror, it does so with varying degrees of success.
The core of the story is the relationship that develops (and is suddenly tested) between a human girl and a robot that has raised her since birth isolated away from the world in an automated bunker, supposedly for the girl’s own protection against a contagion that has wiped out all other traces of life.
Do you have a trailer to show us?
- Official Trailer -
When did it come out?
I Am Mother was released in June 2019.
How long is the film?
In total (inclusive of credits) the film is one hundred and thirteen minutes long.
Can you give us an overview of the story?
As mentioned above the core of the story revolves around the relationship between a human girl (Daughter) and the robot that has raised her since birth (Mother). Having been raised in an automated bunker under the illusion the outside world and humanity has been decimated by a contagion, Daughter is somewhat content with everything that Mother has told her about the world outside of the bunker. And that one day using human embryos specially stored in a laboratory within the bunker, she will have brothers and sisters as they expand their family.
Unfortunately, what Mother does not tell Daughter is only select humans are kept. Only the best. The brightest. And the most promising. The others are killed. Daughter herself is the latest in a series of humans that have been artificially grown with the hopes to repopulate the world with a superior human race. Developed, raised and tended to by a sentient AI that is in control of a vast array of other robots (of varying functions and size) some of which are terraforming the planet.
Daughter’s illusions and the trigger that makes her question everything she knows comes in the form of a nameless woman (who is simply referred to as Woman in the film) who one day appears outside of the airlock to the bunker. Wounded and being hunted by the aforementioned robots, she slowly but surely begins to unravel the web of lies under which Daughter was raised - the more she (Daughter) questions the events that led Woman to them.
Who is behind I Am Mother?
The film was directed by Grant Sputore and filmed entirely in Australia.
Who are some of the actors and actresses in the film?
The cast for the film was surprisingly small, with only three main characters and a few brief appearances. The characters were played by…
Hilary Swank (Woman) - An American actress and producer that will need little to no introduction to many. She has appeared in many films such as Million Dollar Baby, P.S. I Love You, The Next Karate Kid and 55 Steps to name but a few.
Rose Byrne (voice of Mother) - Just to clarify, although Rose was the voice of the robot Mother, the actual physical movement / performance was conducted by a gentleman named Luke Hawker. Rose has appeared in multiple other films such as Bridesmaids, Troy, Insidious and Get Him to the Greek to name but a few.
How did you like the film?
First and foremost I just want to mention that I am a huge fan of the sci-fi genre and love many smaller / indie films as much as I do the larger series like Predator and Terminator, so I have seen a few different types of films, settings and stories. Bearing all of this in mind, unfortunately I Am Mother was a little dull for my liking.
Although the concept to the film was a rather interesting one, humans been raised and bred by robots until the perfect specimens could be found; I found the pace and the telling of the story to be very unbalanced. Don’t get me wrong, learning about the development of trust and love between Daughter and Mother was interesting and had me hooked when they started talking about repopulating the Earth with brothers and sisters for Daughter. But as soon as Woman came into the picture everything picked up pace and it became very rushed. Events past that part unfolded quite quickly with little to no real breaks between them to give you time to process what was unfolding. The eventual showdown between Mother and Daughter was also very lacklustre for my personal taste. Things are explained right at the end as to what exactly happens to Mother, but that just made some of the scenes seem pointless.
On a positive note the design of the bunker and that of the robots themselves was really well done. It added to the immersion and sucked you in at the start. I actually felt that Mother was quite a likeable character. And when hearing her explanation as to what they were doing and who she truly is, really enjoyed the larger scale master plan she had set up. I also felt Daughter was well acted too, and a key part to the story, but Woman just felt like a stereotypical trigger or plot twist. Once she had made her entrance, she was in the film, but I felt no real attachment or interest in her barr the doubt she seeded in Daughter. Doubt which, given the time, she probably would have come to naturally anyway after finding a mouse near the same airlock; which already had her questioning the ‘nothing beyond the bunker survived’ tale she had been spun by Mother.
Overall, I would say the film is worth a watch if you are into sci-fi films with a human interest side to them, purely for the Mother and Daughter part of the film, however, it’s not really something I can honestly rave about or say you would be missing out on if you did not watch it.
What overall rating would you give I Am Mother?
Overall I would give the film a rating of 3 out of 5 bananas.
Personally I Am Mother was not a film for me, I found it lacklustre, dull and thought it could have been so much more. However, that being said, I did like certain aspects of the story, I was especially feeling the location and design aspect. Because of those, I will admit that I believe it was not a complete dud.
Thank you very much for checking out the review and if you are interested in I Am Mother and would like to check it out for yourself, to form your own opinion, you can check it out here.