An Astonishing Film: Surrogates

I saw the ads when it came out, but my wife and I seldom go to movies.  While grading papers today, I watched it on Netflix.

Yes, grading student essays is not so difficult that I can’t watch a movie at the same time.  (One quirk of both my daughter and myself that just drives my wife crazy is that we can and often do multitask–doing several things simultaneously.)

Anyway, the essence of the movie (explained in the very well done minute or two opening so I am not spoiling anything for you) is that in the very near future, humans live their entire lives through robotic surrogates that give you all the sensations and experiences–but without the risks.  Many people never actually leave their homes–they rely on their surrogates to go everywhere, including doing their jobs.  Of course, the robots don’t age, or get fat, or ugly.  And if the surrogate dies, you can’t get hurt.  Or can you?

To say that this is an astonishing commentary on our technologically deranged society is quite clear.  I would blog some more about this–but blogging is perilously close to a surrogate form of social behavior!

There are so many cliched sci-fi premises that have been done again and again and again (such as time travel stories) that to really make it interesting requires a really astonishing piece of writing.  And to get some thoughtful social commentary at the same time?  Excellent!

5 thoughts on “An Astonishing Film: Surrogates

  1. Surrogates should have had a happy ending. Say, the protagonist getting arrested and new robots rolling off the production lines.

  2. One thing I noticed is how two of the actors in the film, Radha Mitchell and Michael Cudlitz, have each had facial surgery so as to better appeal to audiences. Seems kind of appropriate to the film.

  3. Clayton – everything doesn’t need to go on the ‘net — do you think your students and/or their parents will appreciate that you watch movies while grading papers?

    I can see how it would be possible, but I think many people would be offended if they knew their teacher did this.

  4. If they aren’t happy about it, too bad. My grading process takes precedence over watching a movie, and I dare say that few students will be terribly upset. I do very detailed comments and suggestions for improvements and the occasional effusive praise.

  5. “One quirk of both my daughter and myself that just drives my wife crazy is that we can and often do multitask–doing several things simultaneously.”

    Lucky you. My oldest boy is like that, he can sit on the couch playing a video game while also holding a conversation with someone else in the room and chatting with someone on his laptop.

    I seem to have a 1 track mind, which unfortunately seems to often de-rail……..

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