DVD Review: Surrogates

Originally posted on another site on 27 January 2010.

SurrogatesImagine living your entire life from within the confines of your home. You never step foot outside the highly secured front door. Not for anything. Not ever! Why? Because it’s too dangerous. But you still go to work, go shopping, go to the doctors, go to the beach and to parties. You can go hand gliding, bungy jumping and skiing. You can do anything you wish. You can even jump out of a plane, if you want to. Heck, it doesn’t even matter if you forget to strap on a parachute first!

Every second on your life outside that front door is done through the eyes of a surrogate – a robot that looks like you or an improved version of you, or however you want other surrogates to see you. You can make yourself look gorgeous, but the actions and words of that robot are your own, so if it lacks personality…well?!

Imagine a life where every interaction you have with other people is through the eyes of a surrogate…and most of those other people are surrogates too. I can’t imagine I’d like a life like that and for this reason I found the concept of the movie, Surrogates, starring Bruce Willis, quite interesting.

Of course, as in every situation, there are those who refuse to succumb to a life such as the one I’ve just described and in the movie that sector of people are part of the conflict in the story. The reasoning, and I tend to agree with them in a lot of ways, is that it’s not natural to shut ourselves away and live life through a robot. In fact, can you really say it is living?

In the movie Bruce Willis’ character is married and he never even sees his actual wife. He only ever sees her surrogate, even though they live in the same apartment. He never leaves the apartment and she never even leaves her room. This also causes conflict in the story.

I’ve seen reviews that complain that the movie has taken ideas from other movies, such as The Matrix, but everyone takes ideas from somewhere and this movie is not a remake of The Matrix in any form or fashion. This movie is thought provoking. It made me think about where our future is heading and it made me wonder just how far we might go in the name of security. Yes, I would love to send a surrogate to my place of work to do my job for me…and continue to receive the wage associated with that work. I would love nothing better, but I don’t think I’d like my entire life to be lived through a robot. It might be exciting at first, and it might be a way of experiencing (to some degree) the things you definitely wouldn’t try in real life but it would be damn lonely in the long term.

I recommend this action packed movie and if you’ve seen it, I would really like to know what you think.

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