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AI: Artificial Intelligence
Splendid idea, this. Take the project that Kubrick has been working on for more than a decade and give it to Speilberg to produce and direct. Mix in a lot of expensive Industrial Light and Magic magic and we have a grand tale examining the true nature of love.
There are some outstanding scenes as the family demonstrates a need for a new son, and the way they become accustomed to the presence of the artificial boy. I began to wonder if the story would develop by exploring the nature of love as the parents slowly realise that they don't love the robotic machine, programmed to respond in specific ways, just as the hooker-android describes in an early scene.
However, the less interesting thread is followed: in what ways does the boy love the family? Impossible to tell, it seems. But when he is left to fend for himself and ends up in a circus where his life is worth only the enetertainment of the crowd, the question of love is dropped, replaced by a strange, meandering adventure about survival. In a bizarre twist (for twist read 'plot of a different movie'), an eon passes but the boy wakes up to a different world. But his connection with his parents is just as strong. Dozy emotionalism, using loud music and little dialogue (hard to chat to people who have been dead for thousands of years) ends the film weakly.
What a shame! A new Pinnochio might have been fascinating. But the lack of denouement makes this a bit of a bore.