Directed by Princeton Holt
A successful young man named Drew is stunned when his girlfriend leaves him for an e-mate, an android programmed to provide pleasure but almost physically indistinguishable from a human. In his sorrow, he finds himself purchasing his own e-mate Quin but in his efforts to keep her a secret, his brother-in-law Michael finds out his secret. As his wife Brooke would go crazy if she knew her brother Drew was involved with a sexbot, Michael accepts Drew’s “investment” into his company in exchange for his sworn secrecy. Although he’s initially astonished and unable to get his head round the idea of a sexbot e-mate, it’s not long before Michael’s curiosity gets the better of him and decides to engage in an e-mate experience for himself at the Chasing Butterflies sexbot parlour. However, will he be able to keep his experience a secret from his wife?
Satirical sci-fi drama 2050 takes a look at technology and where it’s heading, looking at the way it shoehorns itself between relationships and into people’s lives. For people who don’t want the effort of making a relationship work, or just want instant gratification without any fuss, these sexbot companions seem like the perfect choice. Being able to pick and choose everything about a person, from personality to features, is how many of the individuals in 2050 get sucked into the sexbot fantasy. Michael is a prime example of that as he intently flips through the options on the customiser screen as though creating a character in an RPG videogame. Meanwhile, his brother-in-law Drew is taking a hard look at himself and attempts to change who he is in a bid to try to win back the girl, by becoming her “perfect” partner and pry her away from her e-mate.
As the film progresses and we see Michael fall ever deeper into his e-mate fantasy, it just shows how gratifying a set of code to reflect back all your wants and desires can be, even if they’re totally shallow. Whilst this movie looks at the idea in the form sexbots, you can easily apply similar ideas into modern technology we have now. It wouldn’t surprise me if sexbots catch on in the future. I mean, people already seem to prefer hooking up with individuals through Tinder and online dating, preferring that than to actually chat someone up in person. With more people comfortable behind a phone or keyboard than talking face-to-face, it’s hardly a stretch to think they may be interested in a creation that gives them the pleasure without any of the baggage, adhering to the whims of its master whenever they desire. Throw into the mix the ability to customise the robots into their perfect partner – yup, I can see the birthrate dwindling already!
With drones flying throughout the city, delivering pizza and parcels, 2050 hints at a not-too-distant future and shows two sides of the coin: those who have the sexbots and are totally infatuated with them or attempt to attain their perfect status themselves by changing their own personality, and those who believe that machines will be our downfall as social society crumbles under the weight of technological addiction and instant gratification. Whilst neither is explored to the nth degree, the film does raise some interesting questions and I’m sure will provide much debate amongst those who’ve watched it. The use of classical music too throughout the film feels like a weird juxtaposition as we hear creative human ingenuity placed over scenes of empty humans.
The cast, for their most part, do a good job even though some particular actors come across a little wooden. Hats off to Stormi Maya though who nails the sexbot persona as her human partner Drew (Devin Fuller) attempts to explain human life and challenges to her. Dean Cain also makes an appearance as the manager of Chasing Butterflies, the company who create the e-mate androids in a notable yet underused role.
Even though 2050 feels as though it has more to say that it actually does, it’s a beautifully shot film that pays as much attention to style and aesthetics as the characters do, all the while revealing the issues with such a society and its attachment to technology. The use of colour when Michael is visiting his sexbot conjures up visions of seedy, neon-lit backstreets, and, in many ways, his actions aren’t that far from that.
A thought-provoking piece on our future.