Tau | Netflix Movie Review


Director: Federico D'Alessandro
Writer: Noga Landau
Year Released: 2018
Genre: Sci-Fi / thriller
Watch on: Netflix

We have all seen movies based on people being kidnapped, normally it doesn't end well and there is a lot of tension involved, Tau is no exception to this but what does make it unique is the technology aspect being a big reason as to why people are being kidnapped. Tau is a story about a young woman named Julia, she doesn't live the best life and steals off of people in order to make ends meet, you could say she blends into a crowd perfectly. Whilst in her apartment, someone breaks in and kidnaps her, the movie throws itself straight into the kidnapping and we soon learn why this person has taken her. Whilst locked up she comes across two other people they are pretty average like her and no one would ever notice their disappearance and this is a huge reason they were chosen, the guy who took them was smart and needed viable humans for his test subjects, he used them by inserting a chip into the back of their necks and recording what goes on inside their brains, unfortunately he keeps running out of subjects and having to get new ones because he ends up terminating them by removing the chip he needs the data but after that they are useless to him, Julia is one of these test subjects who discovers she needs to find a way to survive.


Alex (the creepy guy kidnapping people) developed an AI to help make sure his subjects wouldn't escape, he named his AI Tau (pronounced towel) which is voiced by Gary Oldman, they certainly chose wisely when it came to Tau because Gary brings him to life in a brilliant way and left my heart breaking towards the end of the movie. AI has another purpose which Alex doesn't make completely clear but he does talk about how Tau will change the world but in my opinion, Tau was restricted from learning a lot about the world due to Alex keeping him in the dark but thanks to Julia he find a way to learn more. Julia is a very smart girl and hatches a plan to try and escape but is unaware of how dangerous Tau can be, whilst trying to escape she ends up getting the other two test subjects murdered by Tau, in doing this she makes a bargain with Alex about doing his bidding only if he accepts her terms and in the end he agrees. She is unaware of what her fate will be once Alex is done with her at this point but knows to help Alex will help her learn how she could escape from the house she is trapped in.


Alex asked Tau to do puzzles with Julia on a daily basis but when they have free time Tau eventually asks Julia to teach him more about the world, Alex is unaware that they are doing this or of the fact that Julia has taught Tau how to be sneaky and whisper, once she has Tau's trust he starts to open up to her, he tells her that in order for her to escape she will need to get into Alex's bedroom and shut the whole system down but y doing this it will also shut him down and at this point I was sat there a little devasted because I had grown to love Tau. Lately, I have been watching and playing a lot of things to do with AI and it's amazing how you start to feel empathy for things that aren't human and this is what Tau does perfectly.


Although most of the movie is based inside the house it doesn't bore you, I was sat taking in the surroundings trying to guess where Julia may try to escape to next or how she would get around Alex's ability to control Tau and make him kill. Julia isn't the only one who gets punished for her wrongdoings by Alex, Tau would to especially if he missed a mark whilst cleaning, Alex would delete some of his memories so that he was missing parts of things he knows or has learned throughout the day and Julia catches on to this and worked out a plan to use it to her advantage which I found devasting in a way, I seemed to care more about Tau not getting hurt by Alex than Julia escaping. When Julia finally had the chance to escape she couldn't bare what Alex was doing to Tau and came back to help him but it was too late all his memories of Julia were gone and he was back to being the AI Julia first met.  

I don't know how Julia remains so calm throughout the movie but it was either adjust or be forced to comply when she learnt that the subjects were terminated, I would have been having a break down at this point and freaking out because the house is basically a prison. Julia's time was running out, she knew her only chance of surviving was to try and shut down the whole house even if it meant sacrificing Tau, her life is worth much more than an AI's right? At least she got to know him and teach him as much as she knew about the world and read him books that Alex banned him from reading, I have a theory that if Alex taught Tau too much he knew that he would rebel against him and become unstable and Julia was already able to do that just by spending a few hours a day with him.


I don't want to go into detail about what happens at the end but it was the kind of ending I was hoping for especially because I grew to care so much about Tau, I'm an empathic person as it is and Gary Oldman was the perfect actor for Tau's role, he was able to show a lot of emotion is Tau's voice it got to me. The storyline was well executed and flowed well, the character development was slow but interesting and drew you in at the right moments. This is a movie I would happily watch over and over again, I'm a big fan of the Sci-Fi genre a highly recommend this movie to those who enjoy it too, I give this movie 4/5.


Elle May
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