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Silence is frequently used in the rest of the film as a source of tension, with viewers acutely aware that it could be broken at any moment.Part of the horror of the research bunker, which will soon become the film’s primary setting, is its silence, particularly during sequences of Caleb sneaking into restricted areas and being startled by a sudden noise.Then, however, it deviates from this conversation by suggesting that Ex Machina has things to say about humanity before non-human characters even appear.
Several people immediately respond with congratulatory messages, and after a moment the woman from the opening shot runs in to give him a hug.
At this point, the other people in the room look up, smile, and start clapping, while Caleb smiles disbelievingly—perhaps even anxiously—and the camera subtly zooms in a bit closer.
The viewer is thus spatially disoriented in each new setting.
This layering of glass and mirrors, doubling some images and obscuring others, is used later in the film when Caleb meets the artificial being Ava (Alicia Vikander), who is not allowed to leave her glass-walled living quarters in the research bunker.
The similarity of these spaces visually reinforces the film’s late revelation that Caleb has been manipulated by Nathan Bates (Oscar Isaac), the troubled genius who creates Ava.
[Ed.: In these paragraphs, the author cites the information about the scene she's provided to make her argument. shots, this time from the perspective of cameras in Caleb’s phone and desktop computer.Viewers get the sense that all the sounds that humans make as they walk around and talk to each other are being intentionally filtered out by some presence, replaced with a quiet electronic beat that marks the pacing of the sequence, slowly building to a faster tempo.Perhaps the sound of people is irrelevant: only the visual data matters here.The visual style of this opening sequence reinforces the eeriness of the muted humans and electronic soundtrack.Prominent use of shallow focus to depict a workspace that is constructed out of glass doors and walls makes it difficult to discern how large the space really is.We later learn that this is Caleb Smith (Domhnall Gleeson), a young programmer whose perspective the film follows. and reaction shots of his face, as he receives and processes the news that he has won first prize in a staff competition.The rest of the sequence cuts between shots from Caleb’s P. Shocked, Caleb dives for his cellphone and texts several people the news.A woman sits at a computer, absorbed in her screen.The camera looks at her through a glass wall, one of many in the shot.Everyone in the building is on their phones, looking at screens, or has headphones in, and the camera is looking at screens through Caleb’s viewpoint for at least half of the noise that a crowded building in the middle of a workday would ordinarily have.This silence sets the uneasy tone that characterizes the rest of the film, which is as much a horror-thriller as a piece of science fiction.