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I Am Mother – It’s Just A Matter Of Time

I don’t know what it is, but hearing Rose Byrne’s voice coming from a seemingly caring robot gave me weird vibes. Nevertheless, she still managed to sound covertly mysterious with a hint of malintent.


I Am Mother (2019) is directed by Grant Sputore and distributed by Netflix. It stars Clara Ruggard, Rose Byrne, and Hilary Swank.

A teenage girl is raised in an underground, advanced shelter by a robot named Mother.

The robot is tasked with repopulating the Earth after an extinction level event of mankind.

Their bond and connection is tested however when an unexplainable stranger enters the secure facility and reveals alarming news.

Photo Credit: Penguin Empire/Southern Light Films

Story Progression

The story of I Am Mother turned out to be mildly enjoyable and worthwhile for me.

It wasn’t perfect as the movie was a bit draggy at times and could’ve picked up the speed at various positions.

But overall it did well with setting up the tone and building it thrillingly all the way to the end.

For example, a good way to describe the atmosphere and environment of the characters when they interacted would be disturbingly tense and suspenseful.

The director and producers for the most part handled the plot well and were able to deliver plenty of bone-chilling moments between both Daughter and Mother, which is what the characters referred to each other as multiple times.

I especially was impressed with the dynamic between these two, and how it effectively made me feel on-edge when the stranger, played by Hilary Swank, arrived.

Suspenseful Dialogue

Understanding that there’s practically 3 people to support the writing and make it good, it was highly possible that this would have turned into a boring train wreck.

With so few people in the story, the worst element about this movie could have drastically been the dialogue that precisely ruined everything else.

Fortunately, the writers made sure to take that into consideration by implementing successful jittery suspense and anxiety.

This was accomplished effectively through just the communication between the calm but stern robot Mother, and the growingly concerned and fearful Daughter who suspects, rightfully so, that something isn’t right and that she’s being lied to, and misled.

I genuinely could feel the dread and uncertainty in the air as if I was there with the girl being manipulated and coerced into something sinister.

To reiterate though, the narrative could have been progressed and planned out a little bit quicker as it felt that some scenes just plain didn’t need to be included.

There’s also a plot twist by the ending that I predicted, which inevitably came true, that kind of disappointed me.

Other than that, the dramatic effects employed by the writers served to be the highlight in this one.

Photo: Netflix

Aesthetic & Nightmare Fuel CGI

The CGI and practical effects of Mother were created in an aesthetically pleasing manner.

This is one area that the movie has succeeded in for sure.

When it comes to the layout and mechanical gadgetry of the over-possessive robot, it was portrayed very well.

One aspect that surely terrified me of Mother was seeing her run at full speed when trying to find Daughter.

That was seriously some frightening imagery to look at.

Especially with the blinking lights and dark surrounding to enhance the effect of the considerable tension building up.

Motherly Performances

Clara Ruggard was undeniably the star of this film.

She was great with practically every scene she was in and strengthened the plot through her use of investigative research to discovering the truth about where she was being held.

I vividly remember one scene where she was absolutely stunning and delivered a cold chill down my spine with respect to a certain plot twist that proved to make her suspicions true.

Rose Byrne as the voice of Mother as well had me anxious and immobilized pretty much throughout the whole plot.

It felt peculiar how she perfected two tones simultaneously.

One being the voice of a caring, well-meaning Mother figure who has nothing but the best intentions for her child, and the other an enigmatic puzzle machine that conveys sub tones of hiding something truly frightening and startling.

Hilary Swank playing the stranger Woman was decent to watch, although I think her character needed more development.

For example, it would’ve been more helpful to have more backstory about her past in regards to who, and what kind of people she was with before arriving at the secure facility.

I also would’ve preferred to see her interact more with the two main characters, instead of being put off to the side, as I felt she wasn’t included in the story much.

Final Thoughts

I Am Mother was a thoroughly pleasant and satisfying movie to watch, although some elements of it could have been improved, such as cutting out unnecessary parts that dragged the plot behind and made it dull at times.

More info as well could have been added to the character of the Woman to provide more depth and insight.

Most of it nonetheless turned out to be worthwhile due to the potent suspense and tension that was persistently affecting the tone and mood of the setting.

Netflix did a solid job with distributing this Sci-Fi thriller.

There aren’t any crazy action scenes with explosions taking up the whole screen which destroys the whole purpose of the plot that it effectively renders it useless.

Nor is it an outstanding masterpiece like Inception.

Somewhere in the middle is the perfect place for it to be positioned in, and there’s honestly nothing wrong with that.

FP Score – Ordinary

Rating: 3 out of 5.

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