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Artificial Intelligence, Can a Machine Truly Love?
There are some movies that have a powerful message and Artificial Intelligence, which was produced and directed by Steven Spielberg has a very powerful message. The message being, that love can never be treated like a commodity. When receiving love, we do have a responsibility to respond to that love in some way. We do not have a right to ignore love, for it is more than a mere emotion. Love carries with it selflessness and a need to be reciprocated in some fashion.
Artificial Intelligence is about a very special android named David (played by Haley Joel Osment), who in every way is exactly like a human child. David has all the sweet, cute and endearing features that are common to children, but David is not human. Not being human causes David pain and even feelings of abandonment. David is capable of the greatest of all emotions and that is love. Like his human counterparts David pays a high price for being able to truly unselfishly love his mother.
David isn’t adopted; he is brought to the house on a trial basis. The couple that acquires David have a son that is in the hospital because of some incurable illness. David is supposed to fill the void, that having to cope with a child with no cure creates. At first everything goes well, Monica (played by France O’Connor) is enchanted with this perfect child and even encodes him. All goes well, until the impossible happens, Monica’s husband, Henry (played by Sam Robards) calls to tell her that their son, Martin (played by Jake Thomas) has awaken and will recover.
For Monica this is the greatest news, but for David it could be the end of a perfect relationship. Martin comes home and as he gets well, he begins to show his true colors. Martin is selfish, mischievous and wants David out the way. David desperate to have the love of his mother does what ever he can. Often David, in his childish innocence, fall for Martins tricks. Until finally at Martin’s birthday party, a group of boys decide to treat David like a plaything. One boy want to test David’s pain mechanism and decides to use a knife. David, like any child shows a natural fear of knives and grabs Martin for protection. Unfortunately, David falls in the pool with Martin, almost drowning the boy.
Henry fearing for Martin's well being, is determined to get rid of David. He has Monica take David on a picnic. This is no picnic, instead it is Monica saying good by and abandoning David. Despite David’s crying and sobs of desperations, Monica leaves him, abandoned and alone. David and the only possession, the family left him, which was an animated teddy bear, he calls Teddy are on their own in the forest.
We are then introduced to a new character, Gigolo Joe (played by Jude Law). Gigolo Joe’s specialty is pleasing women. He is an android also and the main purpose for his existence is to satisfy his female users. Gigolo Joe is unfortunately, framed by a murderer, who murdered one of his clients. As a result, Joe is now a fugitive, and he must flee to the forest.
The forest where David, Teddy and Joe are is suddenly raided by those who run what is known as flesh fairs. The object of flesh fair is to entertain by masses by demolishing androids. David, Teddy and Joe are caught, along with other unfortunate androids. At the flesh fair, it is discovered by the owner that David is a child android and that in his opinion, an android like David is special and should not be demolished with the rest of the old rejected androids. Unfortunately, David is put on display, and just when hot oil is going to be poured on him, David pleads for his life. The crowd is angry and do not believe that David is an android. The people are enraged and start to throw things. As a result, David, Gigolo Joe and Teddy have their freedom.
While in the forest, Gigolo Joe, who is now indebted to David for still being alive, asks David what it is he seeks. David simply answers, that he needs to find The Blue Fairy, in hope of becoming a real boy. Joe being a lady pleaser asks David is The Blue Fairy is a man or a woman. David then replies woman. Joe is excited and tells David that he is an expert on women and that they need to go to Rouge City. They find a ride and are able to arrive at Rouge City.
In Rouge City they go to find Dr. Know. Dr Know is a knowledge data base used for answering most any question. David’s question is where can he find the Blue Fairy. His creator being aware of David’s situation and where about, has Dr. Know answer David’s question in way that leads right to him. David is excited, but Gigolo Joe having experience with the real world tries to make David see things the way they really are. Gigolo Joe tries to explain to David, their reality as androids in the following statement: “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.”
David is to idealist to believe Joe’s warning and wants to go to the place described by Dr. Know. Joe is almost arrested and David helps him escape. Joe knows that he now owes his little friend a ride to that city at the end of the world.
They arrive and David finds the door to the office of his creator and the father (played by William Hurt) of the real David, the son he lost and longed to replace. David takes a look around and sees many others in his likeness. He realizes, that he can never be more than what he was designed to be, an android.
David is so sad that he throws himself in the water, in an effort to end his life. Gigolo Joe, who is concerned for his young and idealistic friend, takes the helicopter and brings David up above the surface. David in his time underwater, got a glimpse of the Blue Fairy Statue that was once part to Coney Island Amusement Park. The park is now underwater. David's friend is taken away by the police and programs the helicopter to take David underwater. David is awestruck by The Blue Fairy Statue. He asks again and again to turn him into a real boy.
Two thousand years pass and everything is covered by ice. Aliens come to visit the earth looking for human life. In their search they find David. They are marveled at David’s genuineness. When they read his mind, they see what a loving and unselfish being David was. The aliens want nothing more than to make David happy. They even create an image of The Blue Fairy and they have her grant David any wish he wanted. David of course, asks to be a real boy, so he could be loved by Monica. The Blue Fairly tells him that she cannot grant that but she can bring someone from his past. David asks for Monica to be resurrected. She can be resurrected for only a day. David is willing to take what is offered to him, even if it is for only a day.
David spends an unforgettable day with his mother, Monica, who finally tells David the words, he has longed to hear, for as long as he could remember. Monica tells David “I love you, you know. I have always loved you.” David's every longing is finally fulfilled, with just hearing those few words. Then the impossible happens. When Monica goes to sleep, David for the first time in his existence, sleeps also. This is where our story ends.
In Artificial Intelligence , one can see how precious love is. Love is a gift, never to be taken for granted. David’s love was not the type of love that demanded anything, but gave everything. Although, Love also demands a response. You can see this when David tells Joe the following: “My mommy doesn't hate me! Because I'm special! And unique! Because there's 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!” You can see that David doesn’t’ count himself among those made out of steel and copper. He values himself as one born of flesh and blood. His ability to love sets him apart, from other androids and even some humans.
Artificial Intelligence is a film that truly inspires the viewer to see love from a very different perspective. It is a beautiful movie full of warmth, valuable lessons and awesome special effects. Even though it was done nine years ago, Artificial Intelligence still doesn’t fail to take your breath away.