But most movies just don’t go in there for whatever reason and I wanted to subvert that expectation, like the fact that we would go outside and we actually see the outside world was in there for the very first draft.
i am mother movie ending explained – Has Netflix Found The New Christopher Nolan? Hilary Swank Thinks So
Like Moon or Monsters before it, I Am Mother primarily exists as small-budget sci-fi sizzle ahead of an eventual studio steak plated for its director, Grant Sputore. I’m not opposed to a film leaving something open-ended. I like when I can sit back and ask myself questions and meditate on the implications of certain actions, but I think a lot of my disappointment with I Am Mother comes from Woman.
Black Mirror isn’t the only gloomy technological future new to Netflix this week. I Am Mother sets out a less satirical, if no less pessimistic, stall—set in a repopulation facility after an extinction event”. There, a young woman (Daughter) is raised by a robot (Mother), the mechanical caregiver learning parenting one-on-one before reviving humanity from the vast store of embryos Daughter herself originated from.
The script, from first-time writer Michael Lloyd Green, places us in a sleek repopulation facility” after an extinction event has taken place in the outside world. An android called Mother, voiced by Rose Byrne, has access to a collection of 63,000 human embryos and one day, she decides to grant life to one of them, birthing a child known as Daughter. She’s raised with the knowledge that life is to be lived within these four walls, her Mother acting as parent, teacher and caregiver. The two share a warm relationship but as she grows up, Daughter, played by newcomer Clara Rugaard, can’t shake her curiosity over what else might exist and when an unexpected visitor, played by Hilary Swank , arrives, their safe home is suddenly in jeopardy.
Directed by Grant Sputore, the film begins in a repopulation center following an extinction event. A robot, referred to as Mother (physically performed by Luke Hawker and voiced by Rose Byrne), begins the repopulation process, raising a girl she simply calls Daughter (Clara Rugaard). Blindly trusting of her guardian, Daughter never questions Mother’s claim that the outside world remains too toxic, hence their confinement to the underground facility. That unconditional belief, however, wavers when a severely wounded stranger (Hilary Swank) arrives at the bunker doors.
Oscar-winner Hilary Swank leads the Sundance-debuting film as the survivor of an extinction-level event that has seemingly ended all life on earth. After stumbling upon a highly secured compound, however, she discovers another living being: a human teen (Clara Rugaard) being raised by a hyper protective android known as Mother” (Byrne).
At the end of the movie Daughter convinces Mother to let her raise her newly born brother, and allows herself to be killed. Because the Droid has a mind that exists in other machines, she uses another body to kill the stranger. The last few minutes left me thinking about its themes and how the movie would continue past the end credits. Daughter is alive and allowed to raise her siblings.
I Am Mother (Netflix) is a low(ish)-budget Australian film from a first-time director, but you’d never know it. It ticks all the boxes in terms of filmmaking on the cheap – a limited number of characters in an enclosed environment forced to overcome a threat from outside – and it does so with invention, elegance and economy. But it looks a million dollars. Well, many, many millions of dollars in fact. And it doesn’t look even slightly Australian.
Ironically, Daughter could stand to be more robotic. Though her only human role models are drawn from old episodes of The Tonight Show,” Rugaard could slip unnoticed into any modern high school. We’re waiting for some sign of her unusual rearing, but Rugaard, an actress with potential, has been directed to be neat and luminous, a flawless teen dream who seems most flesh-and-blood when she moons over a sketch of a boy her own age. It’s puberty without the pimples.
It features Hilary Swank giving her most accomplished turn in years, bouncing off a breakthrough performance from the 21-year-old Dane Clara Rugaard (she was named one of this year’s Stars” of the Sundance Film Festival, where I Am Mother had its premiere).
I Am Mother’s influences include obvious connections to the work of James Cameron and Ridley Scott. A key theme of the writer Michael Lloyd Green’s script, which starts strong but ends a little flat, explores the increasing trust we place in artificial intelligence – a timely question in the age of Siri, Alexa, Bixby and Cortana.
One of the best movies at this year’s Sundance Film Festival now has North American distribution. StudioCanal had already committed to releasing Grant Sputore‘s directorial debut I Am Mother in Australia and New Zealand, but this morning, Netflix swooped in and picked up the distribution rights for North America.
At this point the film begins the slow task of unveiling its secrets; think of it as a movie-length episode of The Twilight Zone or Black Mirror. This naturally includes pondering the purpose and motivation of the robot, as it did in the writer-director Alex Garland’s Ex Machina – another contained, AI-themed drama geared around three key players.
Given that Mother is an all-encompassing AI, there’s no doubt she was aware of the humans trying to outlive her apocalyptic efforts. And a simple way to truly dwindle all numbers is to cut off the food supply. Those people were starved, and once Mother knew that Swank was the only one left, she started growing crops again, preparing for the influx of beautiful new babies she was starting to grow. In the world of I Am Mother, humanity go out not with a bang but with a starved whimper, and that’s one thing the film has likely gotten right.
I Lied : Woman lied to Daughter about being with a group of human survivors hiding in the mines. Due to a food shortage, Woman struck out on her own after the others jumped off the slippery slope. Woman tries to explain to Daughter she lied because she wanted to help Daughter get away from Mother, but Daughter is so hurt by her lie and that she currently lives alone and miserable that she returns to the bunker to rescue her Brother.
Highbrow science fiction thriller. I Am Mother’s first act is slow and meditative, set entirely within a sterile, spaceship-like bunker. It offers little backstory, although the design of the parental AI Mother — based on real robots like Boston Dynamics’ Atlas — grounds the world in near-future territory. The film mostly focuses on its characters’ mundane but eerie daily routines, occasionally throwing in quirky details about their lives, like Daughter’s love of Johnny Carson-era Tonight Show episodes.
I am Mother tells the story of a lonely robot ( Rose Byrne ), who’s programmed to create a better world after an extinction event took place. She’s the titular mother of this new world. She’s in charge of countless human embryos, but inexplicably raises only one daughter ( Clara Rugaard ) with whom she has a complicated relationship. The human girl is growing curious of her origins and what lies outside the weird lab they live in. Before long, it’s the outside that comes barging in and the precarious relationship between Mother and her daughter is completely destroyed.
The woman brings all these questions to the forefront, as her version of what is happening outside bears no resemblance to what the girl has been told by the Mother. The film uses these competing narratives to powerful effect. We don’t know who to trust. Every time we think we can trust one story over the other, something happens to cause us to doubt once more.
The robot, which has a soothing voice provided by Rose Byrne, is programmed to care for and raise the child as its mother. In montage, we see the girl grow through the years into a teenager known as Daughter (Clara Rugaard). She has lived her entire life in isolation, knowing only Mother, and what Mother has taught her. She understands that humanity was wiped out in some sort of contagion, and that life can no longer exist outside the compound. She is the first test subject in a failsafe plan to preserve the species. If she survives and thrives, Mother will incubate other embryos and begin the process of restarting the human race. To that end, it’s very important that Daughter be rigorously schooled and tested to ensure that she’s smart, resourceful, and understands the complexities of ethical decision-making. She is, after all, the most important person in the world.
We watch the baby grow to a toddler, young girl, and into her teens. She is wise beyond her years and capable of performing small surgeries. She’s only known as Daughter” (Clara Rugaard) and her robot mom as Mother” (voiced by Rose Byrne).
Does she follow the path she’d been groomed for since birth? That’s all left up to interpretation. As the movie ends on the girl’s face, she looks in on Earth’s future human population. This ambiguous ending may leave many with a bad taste in their mouths, taking this final story twist as an anti-abortion message of sorts. But, when taking a step back, it feels as if I Am Mother is, like many science fiction films before it, warning us of the dangers that come with our growing dependence on technology, while assuring us of human nature’s enduring drive to survive – and thrive.
Time jumps forward and the girl has now grown into a teenager called “Daughter” (Clara Rugaard). People in the future aren’t big on traditional names, apparently. Anyway, it seems as though the pair live together in isolation to avoid contamination from some unnamed threat that still exists on the Earth’s surface.
Yes. The woman belonged to the Old World, the category of humans that need to be eradicated. Mother had put a tracker in the woman’s bag. A robot traces its location to the container. The I Am Mother ending suggests that the woman was purposefully used to take the girl through an experience that prepared her to lead the New World humans. Mother says this – Curious, isn’t it? That you’ve survived so long where others have not. As if someone’s had a purpose for you. Until now, after which the droid shuts the door to kill the woman.
In an interview with BGR, Swank said that working with Sputore on the movie reminded her in a lot of ways of veteran director Christopher Nolan. It’s always a risk to take a chance on a first-time director, she muses, but Swank adds that Sputore has a keen understanding of everything from camera lenses and how to use them to elicit a particular emotion, in addition to how to tell a story through a camera in a way that belies his years in the business.
Slasher Smile : Mother has a pair of lights on her “face” that represent the corners of her mouth, which helps her convey emotion and connect with Daughter. Before we see any other droids we’d just assume this was a customization for maternity droids like the heating pads on her chest. Later we see the combat droid with the armored chest plate that Mother wears when she confronts the Woman in her container ship shelter and we see that all droids have the mouth lights, and as this Droid closes in on the woman the mouth lights are all the way up in the widest smile she can make.
And what are we to make of that final closeup of Daughter’s face? I took it to mean that she’s a chip off the old aluminum block: this is a Frankenstein story wherein the monster (Mother) became a creator herself (breeding humans from embryos, in a eugenics operation). Now the creature’s “daughter” contemplates activating the embryos herself, possibly becoming the matriarchal leader of her very own nation-state—one that might be capable of opposing the robots that once tormented her kind.
However, it is a sci-fi film that gives equal importance to character-driven drama as its visual effects. Clara Rugaard is phenomenal in her breakthrough performance as a daughter forced to choose between two not-entirely-trustworthy maternal figures. And the world truly needs more Hilary Swank than it is currently getting.
I Am Mother had its world premiere at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, where Firstpost had already reviewed the film. With its global release on Netflix on 6 June, we are republishing this review. A teenage girl is raised underground by a robot named Mother, who is designed to repopulate the earth. When a mysterious woman covered in blood arrives, everything the young girl knows about her life turns upside down.
The dynamic in I Am Mother is very similar. Mother, a robot voiced by Rose Byrne, and Daughter, played by Clara Rugaard-Larsen have a similar bond. Mother has raised Daughter from infancy, but Daughter is getting older and growing curious about life outside. Their life is comfortable but far from idyllic, and they have a routine and bond that works for them in this scenario.
What helps is the mystery and twists unfold at the perfect times. The screenplay by Michael Lloyd Green is tight with little room for error, and director Grant Sputore executes it to very well. When the relationship between Mother and Daughter starts to feel comfortable, they thrust the Hilary Swank character into the story. When you begin to get used to this trio together, another twist unravels another layer to this story.
Years after a mysterious extinction event,” a hulking but soft-voiced robot known as Mother (voiced by Rose Byrne) is raising the first of a new generation of humans. Daughter has been trained in advanced engineering and medical skills as well as the intricacies of moral philosophy. She believes the outside world is lifeless and ravaged by disease, thanks to humans’ self-destructive behavior — until an injured woman (Hilary Swank) shows up at the bunker’s airlock, begging for help.
Grant Sputore: It was really intentional to leave the bunker because most films in this would – there are a number of them that are like three characters in one location – very rarely do you get to get out at that location. It’s a trope of the genre almost, probably largely driven by budget, that a story like this typically ends with one character going out the front door, the light blaring in as they sort of like fade off into the unknown. Even Ex-Machina, which is like one of the classiest examples there is, does exactly that, there is only one shot that’s not in the facility at the end of the film.
I Am Mother begins with a brief text description of an event that has ended humanity, and you soon learn that it’s not safe for anyone to exist outside. I took this at face value, but realized later that, while technically correct, the spirit of what it intended was deceitful. This is a theme that continues throughout the movie.
I Am Mother is a sci fi thriller about a teenage girl (Clara Rugaard), who is the first of a new generation of humans to be raised by Mother (Rose Byrne), a robot designed to repopulate the earth fafter the extinction of humankind. But the pair’s unique relationship is threatened when an injured stranger (Hilary Swank) arrives with news that calls into question everything Daughter has been told about the outside world and her Mother’s intentions.
Mother is a kind and caring, if sometimes strict, parent. Daughter has had no reason to ever question her. That changes when she hears a banging sound coming from outside an airlock door, followed by a human voice begging to be let in. The source is a woman (Hilary Swank), and she’s injured. She’s terrified of and distrusts Mother instinctively. This event naturally upends Daughter’s world. She questions everything Mother taught her, even more so when the Woman sows seeds of doubt about what other important information Mother may have withheld from her. For her part, the Woman may also have secrets of her own.