Archive is a science-fiction movie directed by Gavin Rothery and starring Stacy Martin, Theo James and Toby Jones.
Archive follows George Almore who’s working in the distant future to create a true human-equivalent AI. However, there’s a hidden agenda behind this – being united with his deceased wife.
Sci-Fi is a risky genre. It’s brilliant to watch if done correctly, but has the risk of turning out silly otherwise. Archive, however, is a rollercoaster. It starts off innocently enough – a man is trying to create robots which will be as close to humans as possible, and would be able to mimic feelings and what not. However, it’s the ending of the movie that truly takes the cake.
You move forward with a notion that the movie is going a certain direction, so you guess how it should ideally end. However, Archive does a complete 180 and you’re left questioning yourself. I was initially putting George as a really insensitive person, creating robots with feelings and then forgetting about them when the next thing comes along. But that last revelation not only bewildered me but also made me love the movie 10 times more.
Summing up: Archive
Archive is a thoroughly enjoyable movie that has the right amount of drama, emotions and twists. Although it starts off as kinda sad with the prototypes feeling left out and such, it turns on its head very fast and leaves you feeling happily confused. Additionally, the movie does leave little clues for us that don’t make sense first, but they suddenly hit you at the end and you can finally add two and two together.
Acting’s also pretty great, with Stacy Martin and Theo James doing an excellent job as Jules and George respectively. The soundtrack, additionally, is really nice and adds quite a lot to the mystery vibe along with the mysterious and gloomy surroundings. The plot is pretty well-thought-out, and you won’t feel bored for a minute.
So, if you’re confused about the ending of Archive, let me break it down for you. George was the one living in the archive, and not the other way around. In the accident, he lost his life, while Jules survived and had their daughter. The archive works sort of like a telephone booth, and at the beginning when he was trying to call Jules, he couldn’t get through. That’s because it only works one way – considering the at the other end there’s a dead person so it’d be odd if they can call you.
You’d be able to realise this once the end revelation comes into play and a lot of things start to make sense. When Melvin and Sinclair visit George to check the archive, Melvin says that there isn’t enough information, while Sinclair says that they aren’t up to date. This means that Melvin, the guards, Jules, Simone and everyone is was a part of the programme and not real. Everything was a part of the programme meant to keep George alive.
Except Sinclair, he put himself into the system and was the only “alive” person in the programme. He gives George a sympathetic smile when he leaves which makes sense when at the end.
If you’re wondering how long he has been living like this, he mentions at one place that he has been living at the facility for three years. On the other hand, Melvin also mentions that his wife has been on the archive for 2 years and 8 months.
As for the J-series, although they were definitely a part of the programme, since George tried to download his wife’s consciousness, he unknowingly (obviously) pulled data from the real world, considering she’s not dead. This is how J-2 and J-3 got to know about his daughter which he wasn’t aware of.
Additionally, it also explains why J-3 implored George to not pick up the phone at the end. She knew the truth, whereas he didn’t. This can also explain why J-2 killed herself. Although I had initially suspected jealously, however, I think the truth was too much for her to handle. She was, at the end of the day, stuck at her teenage years.
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