The Ups and Downs of Vicarious Living in the Surrogates Future
Posted 08.31.09 by reelz
For most people in the future envisioned by Surrogates, it's all about better living through your prettied-up robot avatar. Not only do you get downloaded into a younger, idealized — and in the case of Bruce Willis, hairier — body, but you also get to fine tune what you feel. In one edit bay interview, Surrogates director Jonathan Mostow explains how to absorb the pleasures but avoid the pains of everyday life:
You can adjust your surrogate. We don't address this in the movie because there just wasn't time to get to all these things. You could theoretically just tune your surrogate not to smell unpleasant smells, and only to smell pleasant smells. That's what [is] so fantastic about this technology: it filters out whatever you don't like.
You can even filter out out the boring bits. In another interview, he points to a scene in which we see Willis going home on a subway that the other passengers have literally tuned out:
The subway is basically just populated by people who are shut off, because if you have to take your Surrogate from work back to your house, you can take the subway, walk onto the subway, sit down and get out of your chair, go eat a bagel and just come back before your stop is ready and your Surrogate can reactivate.
It's not all fun and games, though, as Willis' character discovers when he is called on to investigate what looks to be the murder of a person through his surrogate. And despite all the seductions, not everyone is sold on the concept. There are reservations filled with people the director describes as "the Whole Foods/Trader Joes crowd" who still like to do things the natural way.