In the not-so-far future the polar ice caps have melted and the resulting rise of the ocean waters has drowned all the coastal cities of the world. Withdrawn to the interior of the continents, the human race keeps advancing, reaching the point of creating realistic robots (called mechas) to serve them. One of the mecha-producing companies builds David, an artificial kid which is the first to have real feelings, especially a never-ending love for his "mother", Monica. Monica is the woman who adopted him as a substitute for her real son, who remains in cryo-stasis, stricken by an incurable disease. David is living happily with Monica and her husband, but when their real son returns home after a cure is discovered, his life changes dramatically. Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When David approaches Monica's bed to cut off a strand of her hair, she is first lying her face turned away from him. In the next shot, she is lying face towards him. See more »
[narrating, with ocean waves crashing together]
Those were the years after the ice caps had melted... because of the greenhouse gases, and the oceans had risen drown so many cities... along all the shorelines of the world. Amsterdam, Venice, New York - Forever lost. Millions of people were displaced. Climates became chaotic. Hundreds of millions of people starved in poorer countries. Elsewhere a high degree of prosperity survived... when most governments in the developed world... ...
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Wow! That was all I could say when I walked out of the theatre after my first helping of A.I. I wasn't sure whether I loved the movie or was disappointed by it, I just knew it had had a huge effect on me. Having seen it a further three times at the cinema, I still find fault with it, but I keep returning to it, thinking about it, discussing it, and it has left me with a feeling that, five months later, I've still not shaked. In many regards, this movie reminds me of Fight Club, not in terms of theme or emotional content, but due to it's level of craft, the daring nature of it's execution and the fact that I keep re-evaluating it. All the things that are possible to comment objectively on (if anything ever is) are handled expertly. The performances are top-notch, especially Haley Joel Osment as David, the little robot child that longs to be human. The effects are not only very impressive, but are integrated into the story rather than calling attention to themselves. Januz Kaminski's photography is, as one has come to expect, impressive, and the movie is unusually unpredictable for such a big-budget experience.
In my opinion, John Williams' score is among his most impressive. I listened to it on CD for three weeks before seeing the movie, and thought it was fantastic, but once the movie started rolling I completely forgot about the music. That says a lot about both the score and the film itself. I also liked the three-act structure, in which the tone and feel of the movie changes drastically as the story progresses. Part one, as one reviewer noted, feels like a cross between E.T. and The Shining, an odd, but very effective combination. The second part of the movie is awash with Spielbergian imagery, but with the darkness and coldness of a Kubrick movie. And the last part is a head-scratcher that has the intellectual resonance of most Kubrick-films, and the emotional tone of something like Cinema Paradiso. I purposely refrain from saying that it is as emotional as Spielberg-films, because I think the director's complexities, the dark aspects of his style, and the occasional subtleties of his work are often overlooked by critics.
It's difficult to discuss the themes of the movie without spoiling it, but while many people criticised the movie from having several false endings, I felt that each continuation added layers of though and complexities that the movie would have lacked had it ended sooner. I have come to the conclusion, over the past months, that I do love the movie and that it is my favourite film of 2001, even ahead of The Fellowship of The Ring and Amelie. In other words, buy it on DVD, it's more than worth it.
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