A girl is born and raised in an underground, hi-tech facility. Her guardian, protector and mother is a giant talking robot programmed to do all things a Mother would do. With the outside world being far too dangerous to live in, the two form a close family-type bond as the girl grows from birth to a teenager. Their world and relationship becomes threatened when alone, wounded survivor knocks on the door seeking help (played by Hilary Swank). As the film progresses, we find that relationships which were once durable become tested. Who is telling the truth? And who is telling the lies?
I Am Mother is a reasonably necessary film with a small, all-female cast of leads. Anyone who enjoys a B grade sci-fi film will find multiple things to praise throughout the film, such as the set design and the overall look and sound of this film. I also enjoyed the looks and movements of the Mother robot (mainly when it runs). I was surprised to find the voice of Mother was the Australian actress Rose Byrne (best known for her work in Bad-Neighbours and Bridemaids)
Instantly I was impressed with the film’s audio track. For a Netflix film, it’s imposing, in particular with surround speakers. As a story, I Am Mother has a beautiful setup with the beginning introducing the audience to a fun sci-fi world and several characters. The film’s ending is also fascinating as the elements unfold and the pieces come together. Despite this, somewhere in the middle, the film slows down and wobbles for me.
It’s also around the 2nd act that audiences will raise several questions as characters make some “out of left field” choices. Naturally, the film is trying to set up suspense and make us matter which characters are good or bad, but I found the film struggling as to where to go from scene to scene, and the same could be said as the film enters the final climax.
Overall, this is a reasonably new entry for sci-fi fans. Considering the amount of actors and budget, the results are generally impressive. As a story and film, I did find the film’s the halfway mark a real struggle as everything slowed down and purposely dragged on far too long. I don’t expect many fans to agree with me on my comments here, but I’m genuinely split on this. There’s so much to love, and so much I felt disappointing. Either way, this film comes recommended for any sci-fi fans. Chances are you will cherish this film more than I did.
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Review Written by Peter Walkden