Netflix’s I Am Mother Movie Review: Can robots raise human children?

I Am Mother, promo pic
Netflix’s I Am Mother. Pic credit: Netflix

I Am Mother is an interesting movie in that it really makes the viewer question whether or not robots can raise humans. And, this is really the crux of this movie. Not the arrival of another human to mess up the status quo, and not the ending which is somewhat rushed.

Mother is the name of a robot that is tasked with raising humans after an extinction event.

This premise might sound very similar to the upcoming Travis Fimmel TV series, Raised By Wolves, and it might be similar in context. However, while Raised With Wolves appears to tell the story of robots, Mother and Father, who have to raise children on a new planet, the Mother in Netflix’s I Am Mother, has a slightly different plan.

This Mother aims to raise humans from embryos in order to repopulate Earth. The extinction event is not really covered and isn’t needed in this movie as the act of a robot raising humans and the questions it raises are at the center of this anxiety-driven movie.

Throughout I Am Mother, Mother raises her human, called Daughter, immaculately and appears to create a loving environment. However, there is an edge of tension that bleeds in — even from the very start.

At first, the viewer is perhaps wondering if it is merely because the notion of a robot being competent enough to raise a human is unnerving. Then, there is the concept of asking if maybe a robot would be better than humans in some instances.

For example, if the robot is not programmed with annoyance or struggling with fatigue as a human mother would, then things like shaken baby syndrome become a thing of the past. These sorts of questions are likely unnerving to the viewer.

Hilary Swank stars in I Am Mother
Hilary Swank in Netflix’s I Am Mother. Pic credit: Netflix

But then, darkness emerges once a human turns up and Daughter starts to question what is really going on. After all, Mother told her the outside world was toxic and that she couldn’t go out there.

Yet, here is a human existing out there and now she is inside and terrified of Mother because she looks exactly like all of the other droids outside.

This is where I Am Mother really gets interesting. Daughter now has to work out what is right and what is wrong. In addition, Mother has raised Daughter to always question, to always seek the right answer.

So, ultimately, Daughter has been — programmed, if you will — to question the very existence of a robot raising her.

I Am Mother appears to drag a little at times and yet rushes unexpectedly towards the end in a finale that is not quite tied off neatly and makes the viewer question it.

Overall, though, I Am Mother is a great way to fill a couple of hours for those who are into sci-fi dramas.

Netflix supplies the following synopsis for I Am Mother.

“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 after 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.”

I Am Mother is currently screening globally on Netflix.

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