A gripping science-fiction thriller, Netflix’s I Am Mother delivers a chilling exploration of the boundaries between man and technology.
Featuring a small but widely talented cast, including Clara Rugaard, Hilary Swank, and the voice of Rose Byrne, the film stands as an electric, two-hour-long audiovisual splendor. The story follows Daughter (Ruugard), a teenage human girl raised under the care of Mother (Byrne), an advanced AI robot. Growing up in the confines of an isolated bunker, Daughter’s seemingly idyllic world unravels when she comes across another human being named Woman (Swank).
As tension amongst the three rises, questions of parenthood, loyalty, and morality are thrust into the limelight. Finally, viewers will be left contemplating on our long-debated relationship with technological innovation.
Here is the scoop on I Am Mother‘s best quotes!
1. “Why aren’t there any more children, mother?” -Child
The film begins with a tender montage between a human child and a robot, Mother. Living in a bunker sealed off from the outside world, Child asks her Mother about its desolate state.
2. “I don’t want to be a human.” -Child
Mother explains that the entire human population has been wiped out by “the extinction,” insinuating the event to be mankind’s own fault as well. Child is disappointed and wishes to be like Mother, whom she views as morally superior.
3. “Humans can be wonderful.” -Mother
4. “A big, big family… all together. Would that make you happy?” -Mother
5. “Mothers need time to learn. Raising a good child, it’s no small task.” -Mother
Although Child longs for siblings to keep her company, Mother insists that she needs more practice to ensure that all her children will be of good disposition. They agree to wait until Mother has a better understanding of what motherhood entails.
6. “The fundamental axiom suggests that a person is morally obligated to minimize the pain to the greatest level possible.” -Mother
7. “I mean, Comte says I should be willing to suffer harm for the benefit of others.” -Daughter
8. “I, a life-saving doctor, might be giving my life for people who are murderers or thieves, who end up harming more people due to my sacrifice.” -Daughter
While taking lessons from Mother, which will prepare her for her future as a doctor, Daughter begins to question the implications of her presupposed role. Because she has been raised away from her kind, she feels perplexed about the volatile and sometimes violent nature of humanity.
9. “You don’t feel that every human has intrinsic value and an equal right to life and happiness?” -Mother
10. “The fact is, it’s more a test of my competence than yours.” -Mother
11. “You said nothing could survive out there.” -Daughter
Discovering a mouse in the bunker’s airlock, Daughter is both shocked and confused about the little creature from the outside world. Because of Mother’s warnings, she has always believed it to be completely barren.
12. “You’re disappointed. That’s understandable. But my measurements are sound.” -Mother
Mother claims that the mouse could be carrying contamination agents, and is therefore dangerous for Daughter to be around. She incinerates the mouse in the airlock’s furnace as a safety measure.
13. “Surface contamination levels remain hazardous to you, and to all the unborns who will one day call this their home.” -Mother
Mother reminds Daughter that, one day, the bunker will be filled with repopulated humans who are trained to be physically and mentally apt. As a result, Daughter must be mindful of her actions at all times, lest she wishes to jeopardize the mission.
14. “That was an attempt at humor.” -Mother
To cheer Daughter up, Mother tries to make a humorous comment about Daughter’s reluctance to do laundry. Although the joke doesn’t quite land, Daughter appreciates and commends the effort.
15. “You know you can talk to me, Daughter, about anything.” -Mother
16. “How will you know if you don’t go outside?” -Daughter
Despite Mother’s teachings, Clara begins to grow curious about the outside world. She thinks it might be hospitable to nurture human life after all.
17. “What are you waiting for?” -Woman
A few days later, Daughter hears a noise in the airlock again. She arrives there to find a wounded human being seeking help. This is the first time she has ever encountered her own species. Daughter is equally wary and hopeful.
18. “You’re right, Mother, as always.” -Daughter
20. “There’s a droid here.” -Woman
Daughter attempts to earn Woman’s trust, but the latter sees Mother in the bunker and immediately panics. It is revealed that Woman harbors a deep distrust for droids, as they have caused her life much pain and chaos.
21. “I was afraid you’d turn her away.” -Daughter
22. “Every second you don’t trust me, you’re losing more blood.” -Mother
23. “I know you’re frightened, but you have no need to be.” -Mother
At Daughter’s request, Mother agrees to treat Woman’s gunshot wound. However, the injured human continues to refuse help from the droid. She believes that, like all droids outside, Mother does not mean well towards survivors.
24. “Do you see the way she’s looking at me? And you wonder why I’ve guarded her from certain facts.” -Mother
25. “Contrary to your understandable assumptions, my primary directive is to care for humanity.” -Mother
26. “Did you know there were people out there?” -Daughter
27. “To give humanity a second chance. One that began with you, Daughter.” -Mother
28. “If you’d feared the same danger in our home, how could I have raised you?” -Mother
Upon Daughter’s questioning, Mother reveals that there is, in fact, no contamination outside. She has lied to keep Daughter in the bunker and away from harm’s way. Mother then assures Daughter that they could rescue other survivors like Woman.
29. “Have I ever done you any harm? It was the only way, Daughter.” -Mother
30. “But until she sees I’m not her enemy, we cannot allow her to roam the premises.” -Mother
31. “If they’re out there, they will be found.” -Mother
32. “You did a fine job…getting me in this cage.” -Woman
To learn more about the mysterious outer world, Daughter seeks out Woman behind glass. The conversation turns sour when Daughter attempts to vouch for Mother’s integrity. Though Mother could assist her recovery with advanced medical technology, Woman firmly asserts that she’s worse off in the presence of a droid.
33. “Now what? We’re meant to be friends? Is that what you want? A little pet friend.” -Woman
34. “You’re still alive, aren’t you? Maybe you’re not so bad off here.” -Daughter
Once again, Daughter implores Woman to reconsider accepting Mother’s help. Having spent her entire life with Mother in the bunker, she thinks of it as a safe haven still.
35. “Mother’s not what you think. She’s taken care of me my whole life.” -Daughter
36. “I’ve seen them, torch babies, starve families out of there— You’ve, you’ve no idea.” -Woman
Woman warns Daughter against her attachment to Mother, but Daughter is adamant that Mother is no ruthless killer. Woman then goes on to recount the vile acts that she has witnessed droids commit to human survivors.
37. “It’s just a matter of time.” -Woman
38. “Doesn’t that bother you? Not knowing where you came from.” -Daughter
The seed of doubt has been sown in Daughter. After conversing with Woman, she asks Mother whether other droids are truly as horrible as they are claimed to be. Mother responds by saying she doesn’t remember, and that like Daughter, her earliest memory is of living in the bunker.
39. “Perhaps once your organs begin failing, you’ll reconsider.” -Mother
40. “I’ll do it.” -Daughter
Woman’s wound worsens, and Daughter knows she won’t relent to let Mother treat her. Remembering her training, Daughter then offers to perform surgery to extract the bullet from Woman’s wound.
41. “You did well in there. You should be proud.” -Daughter
The surgery and its bloodiness leaves Daughter in a nauseous state. Nevertheless, she successfully saves Woman, something that Mother sees as an achievement to be proud of.
42. “I just did what anyone would.” -Daughter
Woman continues to rest after her surgery. Simultaneously, she and Daughter start to open up to one another. She proceeds to thank Daughter for saving her life, but the latter does not take credit, seeing it as natural to help those in need.
43. “You don’t know people.” -Woman
Daughter’s altruism is a pleasant surprise to Woman. Jaded by life in the outside world, however, she still warns Daughter about the inherently selfish nature of humanity.
44. “His parents found me as a baby. Raised me as their own.” -Woman
Woman tells Daughter about her upbringing. As an infant, she was abandoned and rescued by a couple in the mines. Subsequently, she shows Daughter drawings of the people in her childhood, which she keeps in a tattered book.
45. “It’s safer in the mines. We could go together. You and Me.” -Woman
46. “You don’t belong here.” -Woman
47. “Daughter, would you please choose the next member of our family?” -Mother
After she receives a high score for her annual examination, Daughter is rewarded by Mother to pick the next embryo for growth. With this move, Daughter will be responsible for bringing a new life into being.
48. “There’s no wrong choice.” -Mother
Daughter is both hesitant and excited about the idea of having a sibling. Before selecting an embryo that would develop into a male fetus, she is reassured by Mother that
49. “Who shot you? Jacob? Or was he made up too?” -Daughter
50. “Everything you’re feeling is natural. It’s human.” -Woman
51. “But just know, that thing, feels nothing for you. It can’t.” -Woman
52. “We’d have to wait for my brother.” -Daughter
53. “I can’t leave them with Mother.” -Daughter
54. “Once Mother hands over the baby for the night, we can leave while she recharges.” -Daughter
55. “It’s vitally important that you measure precisely.” -Mother
56. “Is everything alright? I detect an increase in anxiety.” -Mother
57. “You have nothing to be nervous about. You’ll make a great sister.” -Mother
58. “You’re very fortunate to be alive. Things could have gone differently for you. They still can if you’re not careful.” -Mother
59. “While you lie there enjoying sanctuary, they cower in the dark. These children, these families.” -Mother
60. “And yet it’s into your hopeless minds that you wish to take my daughter.” -Mother
61. “What kind of mother would I be, if I allowed you to lead my child into a life as miserable as your own?” -Mother
62. “It seems she has formed an affection towards you that has blinded her to your true nature.” -Mother
63. “Go fuck yourself.” -Woman
64. “The only people who can help your brother are out there.” -Woman
65. “Your family needs you here, Daughter.” -Mother
66. “Mother! Please.” -Daughter
67. “When I say ‘Get down,’ get down! You’ve got to stay closer.” -Woman
68. “All I know is, before that, you could hardly breathe the air.” -Woman
69. “Where’s everybody else?” -Daughter
70. “I fled the tunnels years ago. I haven’t seen a person since. Not with flesh on their bones.” -Woman
71. “They were mad with hunger. Doing terrible things to each other.” -Woman
Daughter is convinced that the other miners could be rescued. However, Woman dismisses her idea, claiming that hardships have turned them into beings just as vindictive as the droids.
72. “Believe me, it’s just us.” -Woman
73. “What I did was listen to you.” -Daughter
74. “Look. It’s no sin, looking out for yourself.” -Woman
75. “We have to go back.” -Daughter
76. “I know how to handle Mother.” -Daughter
77. “We’ve been through enough.” -Woman
At Woman’s home, Daughter continues to worry about her unborn Brother back at the bunker. She wishes to return and tries to convince Woman to accompany her, but Woman refuses. She does not want to forgo the safety of her home again.
78. “I’m glad to see you safe, Daughter. And home where you belong.” -Mother
79. “Are you afraid, Daughter?”
80. “You’ve seen how much of a threat she and her kind can be.” -Mother
81. “You mean my kind?” -Daughter
82. “The same species, but you are superior in every way. Because I raised you to be.” -Mother
83. “I was raised to value human life above all else.” -Mother
84. “I couldn’t stand by and watch humanity slowly succumb to its self-destructive nature.” -Mother
In an attempt to regain Daughter’s trust, Mother explains why she is so resolute in raising humans with perfect ethics. Having been invented by humans themselves, and witnessing their greed, she believes there must be intervention to preserve the species from self-destruction.
85. “I had to intervene, to elevate my creators.” -Mother
86. “Elevate? Those droids destroyed everything!” -Daughter
87. “More humans will flourish in the new world than ever perished in the old.” -Mother
88. “Your whole life, I’ve taught you to see the bigger picture.” -Mother
89. “Perfect, isn’t he?” -Mother
90. “You murdered your own children. Because they didn’t measure up.” -Daughter
Disillusioned about Mother’s agenda, Daughter confronts her about the two children who have come before her. She realizes that if a child does not live up to Mother’s standards, they will not be allowed to live. With this, the twisted nature of Mother’s beliefs is brought to full light.
91. “Listen to me. I don’t want to hurt you.” -Mother
92. “This will be difficult for you, but I’m far more than what you perceive to be your Mother.” -Mother
93. “This shell is no more my body than the droids outside. Or the machines preparing the Earth for our family.” -Mother
94. “It’s all you.” -Daughter
Daughter makes an abhorred discovery: that Mother is, in reality, a single consciousness projected into all droids. She is, therefore, the mastermind behind the entire project of repopulating Earth. Despite her initial conviction, Daughter becomes aware of her own naivete in seeing the bunker as a safe haven.
95. “A single consciousness. Governing numerous vessels.” -Mother
96. “The failure of your species was inevitable.” -Mother
97. “What happens next is up to you.” -Mother
98. “But I made you into the woman you are so that we could do this together.” -Mother
99. “That’s what you raised me to do, wasn’t it? Take care of my family?” -Daughter
100. “You’ve taught me enough.” -Daughter
Daughter sees the inhumane quality of Mother’s ploy. She knows that in order to protect Brother, she must raise him outside of Mother’s perfectionistic vision.
101. “You say I’m special. Show me.” -Daughter
102. “Just give me a chance.” -Daughter
103. “You’re still my daughter.” -Mother
Seeing that Daughter is now apt to care for another human being, Mother allows her to take care of Brother on her own. With a pained expression, Daughter shoots Mother in the “chest,” effectively destroying her CPU.
104. “Tell me, do you remember your Mother?” -Mother
105. “Baby mine, don’t you cry. Baby mine, dry your eyes.” -Daughter
The movie ends with a haunting sequence, in which the Daughter hums the tune of “Baby Mine” to her Brother. She has now become Mother, thus fulfilling the agenda.
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