A.I. - A VISUAL ANALYSIS


ACT 1 | ACT 2 | ACT 3
personal thoughts | ideas & themes

(make sure you put your cursor over the picture when you read Look)


ACT 1

Narrator explains.

Very 1st scenes: Massive ocean waves. Wild.

Prominent water imagery throughout the film.

WATER = Mother's womb? Life? Death? Rebirth?

Then we see this form. Notice the long arms.

An idea is about to be borne here.

An idea presented by PROFESSOR HOBBY.

SHEILA.

A robot.

There must be a "next level."

"I propose that we build a robot, who can love."
"Love is first widening my eyes a little bit and quickening my breathing a little and warming my skin and touching with my--"

"...I propose we build a robot child, who can love. A robot child who will genuinely love the parent or parents it imprints on, with a love that will never end ... But a mecha with a mind, with neuronal feedback. You see what I'm suggesting is that live will be the key by which they acquire a kind of subconscious never before achieved. And inner world of metaphor, of intuition, of self motivated reasoning. Of dreams."

"If a robot could genuinely love a person, what responsibility does that person hold toward that mecha in return?"

"The oldest one of all. But in the beginning, didn't God create Adam to love him?

Scene ends with Sheila doing something human, yet out of place. It deceives our senses and perceptions. Human, real, what is reality?

Mirror on left hand, lipstick on right.

MONICA is also putting lipstick on.

Parallel between Sheila and Monica.

Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledum & Tweedledee
Pinocchio
Little Red Riding Hood
Fairy Tale stories (Brothers Grimm, specifically) superimposed in a high-tech world.
Michael Morpurgo's "Robin of Sherwood"

MONICA reads: "The baby was born as the first leaves of autumn fell. A baby boy. And Marion's wish came true. The boy had white hair. He was baptized Martin after his grandfather."

Parallels Lady Marion with Monica, as well as with Marion's son and Monica's son.

More Fairy Tale paintings.

DR FRAZIER: "But medicine assures us that mourning is inappropriate, that Martin is merely pending."

Parallels the fairy tales on the wall. A human life is "pending." We've transcended godhood of mythic proportions.

David's arrival.

Compare this silhouetted shape to the advanced mechas.

Long necks.

Look. ----->

"I like your floor."

MONICA: "But outside he just looks so real... like he is a child."

HENRY: "A mecha child."

MONICA: "A child."

Subtle, short conversation on the nature of reality.

Recurring Theme:

Reflections.

Physical reflections or personal reflections.

David is not real, based on Henry and Monica's short discussion.

HENRY: "Now Monica, for our own protection, this imprinting is irreversible. The robot child's love would be sealed -- in a sense hardwired -- and we'd be part of him forever."

What was Monica's main reason for signing the paper?

More reflections with mirror.

More reflections.

Foreshadows multiple/ duplicated/ cloned Davids.

<----- Look.

Monica makes coffee.
The very first thing David sees Monica makes.

David is like a pet dog/cat.

The nature of consciousness is questioned.

Monica avoids David. How does one deal with this?

MONICA: "Yes. Hide and Seek. Found you."

David laughs at the noodle hanging from Monica's mouth.

Is this a programmed reaction?

Laughter was something that's been missing in Monica for a long time.

David's sudden burst of laughter: a form of catalyst that opens her up to David?

Monica dresses David for bed. Is she dressing David or Martin?

Look. ----->

Imprinting Protocol: A way to bring Martin back?

"Cirrus. Socrates. Particle. Decibel. Hurricane. Dolphin. Tulip. Monica. David. Monica."

Note her curved fingers.

"What were those words for, Mommy?"

"You are my Mommy."

The background setting is very fairy-tale like.

MONICA: "My shoe!"

Fairy Tale allusion to Cinderella.

Monica's living a fairy tale with a "real son."

Differing Perspectives:

MONICA: "He is only a child."

HENRY: "Monica, he's a toy."

MONICA: "He's a gift, from you."

"David, when we leave, all the doors and windows will go smart, so you can't leave your room..."

INANIMATE OBJECTS = "SMART"

Does it also equate to intelligence and/or spiritual awareness?

Monica's saddened by the loss of a material possession.

Mirror symbolism again.

A machine asks when a human will die. And a machine hopes (a human trait) that its Mommy never dies.

"I love you, Mommy. I hope you never die. Never."

TEDDY: "I am not... a toy."

This "toys" with our perspectives. We know Teddy IS a toy because he looks like a toy from the outside.

2 Machines discuss the nature of years.

DAVID: "Is fifty years a long time?"

TEDDY: "I don't think so."

Reminds us that David is a machine.

Focuses on the curved fingers -- the very fingers that gave David his "life."

Look. ----->

MONICA: "This is Martin. My son."

David's expression: How does one interpret it?

First time we see an A.I. being mistreated:

MARTIN pulls Teddy by the ears.

But it's an "innocent" mistreatment.

"Toying" with a toy's emotions.

Who does Teddy chooses?

Toy chooses a 3rd alternative!

Is this consciousness?

Monica: "Are they torturing you, Teddy?"

Torture?

MARTIN: "No, because I'm real."
"You're not cute like a doll. You just look like someone's ordinary kid."
"A bird with big wings. And feathers sticking up from the bottom."

MONICA reads Pinocchio: "'Bring me in Pinocchio! You will find him hanging on a nail. He is made of nice dry wood and I'm sure he will make a nice fire for my roast.'"

FORESHADOWS what will happen at the Flesh Fair.

MONICA reads: "Pinocchio worked until midnight, and instead of making eight baskets, he made sixteen."

Pinocchio does more than asked to do.

Henry and Monica are "gossiping" about friends of theirs.

This is something the mechas didn't do.

HENRY: "...isn't there... something about inner beauty?"

"Inner Beauty" is a subtle theme that's presented.

TEDDY: "You will break."

Like David's conscience.

Like Jiminy Cricket.

Like Pinocchio, David wants to be "better" than or "be" like Martin.
Comical Technicians working on David as though he is a car.

DAVID: "It's okay mommy. It doesn't hurt!"

Look. ----->

Reflections.

Martin's jealousy.

As the audience, we sympathize more with David than Martin.

David is "more human" than Martin.

"DON'T BREAK HIM!"

"It's normal for little boys to feel jealous and competitive."

Is Monica in denial?

HENRY: "Think about this. If he was created to love, then it's reasonable to assume he knows how to hate. And if pushed to those extremes, what is he really capable of?"

Monica doesn't listen.

Martin protects David.

Somewhat of a redeeming act Martin does for David.

Martin is rescued.

David's left alone.

A bit of foreshadowing when David's underwater.

Being alone.

In a seeming big body of water.

Remember the opening scene.

Place where the advanced mecha speaks to David.

Note the hanging mirror-decoration.

<----- Look.

A "mecha" creates its thoughts and feelings on paper.

As though art.

Compare to the advanced-mecha talking to David

David cries.

How does one interpret this?

This happens in a forest.

A very NATURAL place.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you about the world."

What does she mean about the "world"? The "real world"?

Reflections.


ACT 2

This "real world" is more brutal than the one David was in.
We question the nature of reality.
Was not the world of Henry and Monica REAL?
The narrator does not speak at the end of ACT 1.


An abused wife longing for love in a mecha prostitute.

This is the first images of the "real world."

GIGOLO JOE embodies fantasy.

Just as David embodied Monica's fantasy of a real son.

The "real world."

Images of the "real."

Jealousy.

Hate.

Revenge.

Murder.

To be real, must one share and understand such emotions?

There's another murder.

<----- Look.

David and Teddy see abandoned mechas sifting through abandoned mecha parts.

The need to survive. Isn't that "real" enough?

They fear something that looks natural (the moon).

LORD JOHNSON-JOHNSON: "Any old iron?"

This is somewhat ironic.

They're using machines to hunt down machines.

Another irony:

The human hunters look like mechas.

The name "FLESH FAIR" is ironic as well.

It is the flesh people who created these machines and gave them life!

Torturing mechas is a fun-filled event.

Like a bigger version of Martin torturing Teddy --to test his loyalty.

"See here: a bitty box, a tinker toy, a living doll. 'Course we all know why they made them. To seize your hearts. To replace your children! This is the latest iteration to the series of insults to human dignity. An underground scheme to phase out all of God's little children. Meet the next generation of child designed to do just that!"

"Let he who is without 'sim' cast the first stone."
=
religion, mythology, faith

David is a physical "image" of Professor Hobby's deceased son.

Rouge City: A completely hedonistic place.

Is this REAL?

"Combine Fact with Fairy Tale."

Science and Religion.

Is this possible?

Can they be compromised?

Can they work together?

Come away, O human child!
To the waters and the wild
With a fairy, hand in hand,
For the world's more full of weeping
then you can understand.

Your quest will be perilous
Yet the reward is beyond price.
In his book
'How Can A Robot Become Human',
Professor Allen Hobby writes
of the power which
will transform Mecha into Orga.

JOE: Wait! What if the blue fairy isn't real at all, David? What if she's magic? The supernatural is the hidden web that unites the universe. Only orga believe what cannot be seen or measured. It is that oddness that separates our species. Or what if the Blue Fairy is an electronic parasite that has arisen to hold the minds of artificial intelligence?

They hate us, you know? The humans... They'll stop at nothing.

DAVID: My mommy doesn't hate me! Because I'm special, and... unique! Because there has never been anyone like me before! Ever! Mommy loves Martin because he is real and when I am real, Mommy's going to read to me, and tuck me in my bed, and sing to me, and listen to what I say, and she will cuddle with me, and tell me every day a hundred times a day that she loves me!

JOE: She loves what you do for her, as my customers love what it is I do for them. But she does not love you David, she cannot love you. You are neither flesh, nor blood. You are not a dog, a cat, or a canary. You were designed and built specific, like the rest of us. And you are alone now only because they tired of you, or replaced you with a younger model, or were displeased with something you said, or broke. They made us too smart, too quick, and too many. We are suffering for the mistakes they made because when the end comes, all that will be left is us. That's why they hate us, and that is why you must stay here, with me.

MAN-hattan

The mechas have their very own mythology as well.

David's quest has been fulfilled.

But the answers he find are a bit different.

Perspectives.

David II reads What Fish.

Does David symbolically destroys his childhood, his innocence?

Or has he experienced

Jealousy.

Hate.

Revenge.

Murder.

Look. ----->


"Until you were born, robots didn't dream, robots didn't desire, unless we told them what to want. David! Do you have any idea what a success story you've become? You found a fairy tale and inspired by love, fueled by desire, you set out on a journey to make her real and, most remarkable of all, no one taught you how.
We actually lost you for a while. But when you were found again we didn't make our presence known because our test was a simple one: Where would your self-motivated reasoning take you? To the logical conclusion? The Blue Fairy is part of the great human flaw to wish for things that don't exist. Or to the greatest single human gift -- the ability to chase down our dreams. And that is something no machine has ever done until you."
DAVID: "I thought I was one of a kind."

HOBBY: "My son was one of a kind. You are the first of a kind."

DAVID: "My brain is falling out."

This echoes Henry's subtle comment on:

"Inner Beauty."

A hint of David's very first memory.
Is David's realness a concept that cannot be understood?

Reflections.

Realization.

Reflections.

Realization.

Reflections.

Realization.

Where he was born.

Where he dies.

Cybertronics Building.

David falling resembleS a tear in Gigolo Joe's reflection.

Water imagery.

Life/ Birth/ Resurrection.

The Fishes.

Ridiculous?

A fairy tale embellishment of the Advanced Mecha narrator?

Remember that the

NARRATOR is one of the ADVANCED MECHAS.

They have mythologies as well.

"I am... I was!"

Compare to:

"I think, therefore I am."

Blue Fairy's face matches David's face:

David IS the Blue Fairy.

"Blue Fairy? Please... please, please make me into a real live boy. Please... Blue Fairy? Please... please... make me real. Blue Fairy? Please, please make me real. Please make me a real boy. Please, Blue Fairy, make me into a real boy. Please..."

NARRATOR: And David continued to pray to the Blue Fairy there before him, she who smile softly, forever. Eventually the floodlights dimmed and died, but David could still see her palely by day, and he still addressed her, in hope. He prayed until all the sea anemones had shriveled and died, he prayed as the ocean froze and the ice encased the cage amphibicopter, and the Blue Fairy too, locking them together where he could still make her out -- a blue ghost in ice -- always there, always smiling, always awaiting him. Eventually he never moved at all, but his eyes always stayed open, staring ahead forever all through the darkness of each night, and the next day... and the next day...

Thus, 2000 years passed by...

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ACT 3

We are now in the future world.
We find out that the narrator is one of this ADVANCED MECHAS.
That scene with the fishes provide a deeper meaning:
An advanced mecha telling us a fairy tale story!
At this point, reality and non-reality are ungraspable concepts.
For we do not exist.


A world in ice.

Compare to a world covered in water.

Parallel to Martin in cryogenics.

<----- Look.

The whole scene is like a fairy tale. Surreal.

Blue Fairy.

Blue Ice.

Blue Alien Beings.

Blue Background.

Advanced Mechas.

The look of these mechas are similar. Clones almost. But it echoes Henry's "inner beauty" comment.

Parallel to Henry and Monica gossiping.

Here, the Advanced Mechas share the same knowledge through touch.

Focus on the eyes.

Does David become a real boy here?

The surrealness is accentuated with the appearance of the Blue Fairy.

But David is focused on one thing:

To be back with his Mommy.

Advanced Mechas studying David.

As Professor Hobby and his colleagues have studied David.

David cries.

Here we learn that the NARRATOR is one of these ADVANCED MECHAS.

NARRATOR: "Give him what he wants."

The hanging-mirror decoration again.
<----- Look.
NARRATOR: David, I often felt a sort of envy of human beings and that thing they call 'spirit'. Human beings had created a million explanations of the meaning of life in art, in poetry, in mathematical formulas. Certainly, human beings must be the key to the meaning of existence, but human beings no longer existed.

So, we began a project that would make it possible to recreate the living body of a person long dead from the DNA in a fragment of bone or mummified skin. we also wondered, would it be possible to retrieve a memory trace in resonance with a recreated body. And do you know what we found? We found... the very fabric of space-time itself appeared to store information about every event which had ever occured in the past.

But the experiment... was a failure. For those who were resurrected only lived through a single day of renewed life. When the resurrectees fell asleep on the night of their first new day, they died, again. As soon as they become unconscious, their very existence faded away into darkness.

So you see, David, the equations have shown that once an individual space-time pathway had been used, it could not be reused. If we bring your mother back now, it will only be for one day, and then you'll never be able to see her again.


DAVID: Maybe... maybe she will be special, maybe she will stay.

NARRATOR: I thought this might be hard for you to understand. You were created to be so young.

Very symbolic act as this is the very first thing David learns from Monica:

Making coffee.

MONICA: "Now make a wish."

DAVID: "It came true already."

David doesn't blow out one remaining candle.

Symbolism.

"I love you David. I do love you. I have always loved you."
NARRATOR: That was the everlasting moment he had been waiting for. And the moment had passed, for Monica was sound asleep -- more than merely asleep. Should he shake her she would never rouse. So David went to sleep too. And for the first time in his life, he went to that place where dreams are born.

Teddy in bed.

Teddy is David's conscience.

David is alive.



I initially started on an essay but I decided that a film like this required a point-by-point discussion. It was also a good way for me to see why I viewed the film the way I did. If you're on dial-up, I apologize for the one-page treatment. This is a work-in-progress for a bigger essay.

I just wanted to have certain points emphasized as this film is so pregnant with meaning. Like 2001: A Space Odyssey, this film really captured my heart and imagination. But this movie, on the other hand, captured my heart a greater deal.

This is Science-Fiction with a very big Heart. Different people can come up with varying interpretations of this film, and I believe that that is the beauty and magic of A.I. It's completely limitless to one's imagination.

Bill Coronel
smashedbilly@yahoo.com
(this email account no longer in use)


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