Trigger warning: this article will discuss sexual assault and deals with issues like agoraphobia, and anxiety.
KIMI is the main character of this film and as much as I wish it was Angela Childs played by Zoe Kravitz, it isn’t. KIMI is a smart device that works not unlike Amazon’s Alexa and Google’s Nest assisting in anything from home purchases to music playing all under the guise of only activating when in use. Does it surprise anyone that the center of the film happens because of a device malfunction much like the 2019 article in The Guardian “Alexa, Are you invading my privacy? The Dark Side of our voice assistants” in which multiple people report things of this nature happening often.
Angela Childs suffers from agoraphobia brought on by a sexual assault made worse by COVID-19. She only regularly communicates with her mother, a co-worker stationed in Romania, and a lover from across the street. She works for this tech company called Amygdala monitoring incoming data streams from KIMI devices and making corrections to the software to help KIMI adapt to human speech patterns and predictability algorithms. It’s there that she encounters a live data stream of a woman being SA’d.
Angela tries to bring this to the attention of her superiors. We the viewer understand it is Bradley Hasling, CEO of Amygdala, who has committed this crime and has hired a contract killer to remove the problem in his way before his company goes public. All eyes are on KIMI as she is about the enter into IPO and become a publicly-traded company. Is KIMI always listening? Yes! If we push aside the ethics of smart home devices such as KIMI. What I don’t understand is why this movie’s pacing is thrown off by the flow of information. The movie somehow asks to suspend disbelief as Angela processes her assaults and agoraphobia after the killers corner her in her apartment and she “cat woman’s” around until killing them. The film ends on a high note as Angela is able to meet her lover outside in stark contrast to earlier in the film when she stands him up. I think they just decided her happy ending was a normal life free from actually processing trauma but I’m not the writer. I’d done it a different way but what do I know, I’m a film critic on the internet. I would have liked it to be as simple as her attending a therapy session online or going to her dentist in person to get her gums checked out.
Overall, this is a ‘stream it’ film. I wouldn’t watch it in theaters but it’s light and easy watch.
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