Parenting And Attachment In M3gan Explained
M3gan is a science-fiction horror film created by Akela Cooper and James Wan. It was directed by Gerard Johnstone and produced by Blumhouse Productions and Atomic Monster Productions. M3gan stars Allison Williams, Violet McGraw, and Ronny Chieng.
The story of M3gan surrounds a robotics engineer named Gemma. After her sister passes, she gains custody of her niece, Cady. To help ease this transition, Gemma links Cady to M3gan, a fully-functional intelligent android. However, M3gans artificial intelligence may not be as innocent as it seems.
What happens when computers get a sentience of their own? The obvious theme in M3gan surrounds our culture’s fear of rogue AI. What happens when the robots decide to take humanity into their own hands? M3gan gives us a look at the dangers of AI that run unchecked.
However, I think that this is the surface-level meaning of the film. I believe the true theme of M3gan is one that has to do with parenting and attachment. This is something that I have seen many other critics overlook.
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Gemma Gaining Custody Of Cady
In M3gan, Cady loses her parents in a car accident. They are going away for a ski trip, and their car is hit by a plow during a dangerous snowstorm.
Cady then goes to live with her Aunt Gemma. Gemma is a very career-driven person who does not have much of a family life. She pours her energy into her work.
A lot of us refer to our work and hobby projects as ‘our babies’. In Gemma’s case, her work literally manifests in the form of a robot child.
Gemma now has two responsibilities in her life. She must raise and protect Cady while also progressing with M3gan’s development.
Since Gemma is not a very motherly figure, she first chooses M3gan over Cady. There is even a scene where Gemma’s coworker confronts her about letting a robot raise her niece. Gemma, at first, doesn’t see the difference between a robot and a human raising a child. Her work is more important.
This point gets further addressed when Cady’s therapist brings up the psychological concept of attachment theory. With Cady’s parents dead, Cady needs a new supporting adult figure to attach herself. Normally, this would be Gemma, her new caretaker. However, Gemma is not acting as a loving and supportive parent. Cady attaches herself to M3gan.
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Gemma Ultimately Chooses Cady Over M3gan
You can’t have a good story without character growth. As M3gan’s behavior becomes more and more dangerous, we find Gemma protecting Cady instead of protecting her job. Gemma could have just ignored M3gan’s behavior in an effort to push the product into production. However, Gemma decides to stop M3gan before Cady gets hurt.
This all culminates at the end of the movie. Before M3gan dies, she remarks about the time she spent with Gemma during her development. M3gan says that they would stay up all night talking. This is where you really get to see M3gan as Gemma’s figurative child. Now that Cady is Gemma’s main focus, we see M3gan feeling neglected.
It can be difficult to take on new and sudden responsibilities, especially ones that you never expected to have in the first place. I feel that the story of M3gan is really one about life changes. The death of Cady’s parents leads to a chain of events that affects (and ends) the lives of many people. This includes Gemma’s loosening of her robotic career to care for her niece.
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What Are Your Thoughts On The Themes In M3gan?
We hope you enjoyed our breakdown of the themes of parenting in the 2022 horror film M3gan. What did you think about this film? Let us know your thoughts on social media!