Wifelike is a new science fiction film written and directed by James Bird. The film stars Jonathan Rhys Meyers and Elena Kampouris. The film tells the story of a widower named William who receives an A.I. copy of his late wife, Meredith. However, things quickly become complicated when a mysterious organization starts stalking the new Meredith. William will have to go out of his way to reveal a dark conspiracy.
The film mixes ideas from a bunch of other films and TV shows but manages to mix them all into its own thing. At its core, the film functions as a sort of mystery, and it is simple and engaging enough to keep you watching from beginning to end. Sadly, the tight budget doesn’t help the movie execute the futuristic environment they want to show in the film. Thus, most of the gadgets and costumes end up looking very cheap and take you out of the immersion.
Wifelike has a lot of twists and turns, and the following paragraphs contain spoilers for the movie. Read at your own risk.
Who Is The Masked Man In Meredith’s Dreams?
Wifelike presents very interesting ideas about how technology might change how humanity relates to love in all of its forms. We are seeing it right now today. For example, in countries like Japan, the childbirth rate has been going down. Japanese society has transformed in such a way that people have less time to become romantic couples, and thus fewer babies are being born. Some people are not even interested in having children, as other activities end up fulfilling their need for companionship and the like.
Wifelike then goes back to that Futurama episode where Fry gets a robot girlfriend that looks exactly like Lucy Liu. Fry stops eating and going out because he has become completely addicted to this perfect-looking girlfriend. He has a girlfriend that accepts him for exactly who he is and finds him attractive, and all the things he always wanted to have in a partner but never had. In this case, Meredith is our Lucy Liu, while William is our Fry. However, Wifelike puts a darker spin on things.
When William receives Meredith at his house, we discover that she has been made under clear specifications. The new Meredith has been built in the shape of William’s late wife. Everything goes normally, as Meredith satisfies William’s every need. It is a bit creepy, but she’s just a robot, right? As time passes, we discover that every time Meredith goes to recharge her batteries, she enters a dreamlike state. In these dreams, Meredith starts seeing a mysterious masked man that wants her to remember something.
In real life, she is also visited by a mysterious woman. Meredith communicates these events to William, who deduces that something bad is happening. We discover William works for Wifelike the company that creates these robots, and he works as a sort of repo man, a Blade Runner, hunting down companions that have gone rogue. It is clear that the companions are becoming sentient. More than just machines. Under the mask, this man looks like someone from Meredith’s past, but she doesn’t know who.
Who Is The Ringmaster In Wifelike?
Throughout the movie, we learn about a mysterious figure called The Ringmaster. The Ringmaster seems to be the person behind the companions becoming sentient. This person has also developed a sort of Underground Railroad for companions. These two ideas are very similar to something that happens both in Looper and in Detroit: Become Human, respectively. It is revealed towards the end of the movie that Meredith is the real Ringmaster.
You see, Meredith wasn’t originally a companion. She was a normal human being. She was an activist working to avoid Wifelike as she believed love is real, and what Wifelike is selling isn’t real love. She meets William while collecting firms for her cause, and he becomes obsessed with her. He kidnaps her and then turns her into a companion. However, Meredith escaped from Williams and became the Ringmaster, freeing other companions on her way.
The Masked Man in her dreams and the mysterious woman who visits her in real life are the same people. She is trying to make Meredith remember who she really is. When she does, Meredith takes revenge on William for being such a criminal and kills him. She goes back to her base and prepares to make war with humans. They need to understand that companions are not just machines anymore, but a new race.
At the end of the movie, we see the Wifelike president announcing that they will face the Ringmaster threat with everything they got and that Agent William will lead the mission. William is introduced alive. Now he has also become a companion and will go after Meredith no matter what. The ending leaves things open for a future sequel where these two will face each other as full enemies.