With the recent Supreme court ruling where our government controls what women can and can not do with their bodies, it is no surprise that projects like The Handsmaid’s Tale have become popular, while placing doubt as to how women will continue to exist with some sort of independence beyond the 21st century.
Wifelike follows a grieving detective (Jonathan Rhys Meyers) who hunts down criminals trading artificial humans on the black market. In the fight to end AI exploitation. Meanwhile, an underground resistance attempts to infiltrate him by sabotaging the programming of the artificial human assigned as his companion Meredith (Elena Kampouris) to behave like his late wife.
Directed by James Bird, this futuristic tale is intriguing for the simple reason it brings to light how manipulative men have always been when it comes to the mind and body of women for their own personal pleasure and ego satisfaction. For centuries, males have desired domination by any means necessary no matter the costs. Johnathan Rhys Meyers and Elena Kampouris sizzle on screen with a chemistry that is undeniable. Every second they are on screen together is sheer fireworks, whether they are speaking or not. However, their combined electricity isn’t enough to make this slow burn film palatable.
Wifelike mostly suffers from spending way too much time exploring the intimate moments between Meredith and William as opposed to jumping right into the heart of the matter. Most of the film is spent watching William hunt down stray companions and Keene (Fletcher Donovan), the leader of a A.I. rights organization aka the masked man who appears in Meredith’s dreams revealing that her past are not the lies William has been feeding her.
One of the more powerful scenes involves watching a group of women set to have their memories wiped align with one another in an attempt to assist them all in gaining freedom on their terms. As well intended as Bird may have been with his screenplay, it is that moment which would have given this film just the right amount of cinematic gravitas.
Produced by Paramount Movies, Wifelike will be released on August 12th in elect theaters and available via digital platforms.