In the last couple of years, artificial intelligence has slowly started seeping into our world. It has impacted our lives to the point that job security for many humans is under threat. So, it’s not a surprise that many films and shows are being made about the evil of unregulated A.I. being used for capitalistic greed. Spencer Brown’s “T.I.M.” explores a similar narrative about an AI humanoid that poses a threat to the lives of its central couple. Written by Brown with Sarah Govett, the script tries to explore the growing impact of human-made machines on our lives.

Spoilers Ahead.

T.I.M. (2023) Plot Summary & Movie Synopsis:

What is ‘T.I.M.’ about?

Spencer Brown’s “T.I.M.” follows a woman who moves to the countryside for her project involving a humanoid artificial intelligence. But things soon turn downward once the humanoid starts taking charge of their lives. The film follows the usual human-vs.-machine dynamic that we have seen since films like Kubrick’s “2001: A Space Odyssey.”

What happens in ‘T.I.M.’?

“T.I.M.” follows Abi (Georgina Campbell), a prosthetics engineer, who moves to the countryside to work for a Robotic organization for their latest product. It’s a humanoid artificial intelligence called T.I.M. – Technologically. Integrated. Manservant. Abi and her husband, Paul (Mark Rowley), see this move as a much-needed change after some issues in their relationship. After her initial introduction to the organisation, Abi’s boss, Dewson (Nathaniel Parker) sends a T.I.M. specimen (Eamon Farren) to her house. Their initial impressions differ by a margin.

Right out of the box, T.I.M. acts mechanical but looks like a human. It comes with a couple of rules to function to its intended potential, almost like a phone app. T.I.M. expects Abi and Paul to pair with their devices and share their passwords, claiming it to be for ease of functioning. Although Abi is open to doing this, Paul is apprehensive. Dewson tells Abi that she must adhere to these protocols and make Paul accept them too. After all, if his employees don’t want T.I.M., other people won’t either. He highlights its qualities akin to servitude devoid of human messiness.

Why does Dewson get jealous of T.I.M.?

After a party at Dewson’s house, Abi and Paul return home to realize T.I.M.’s capabilities and its intrusiveness. It even shows up in their room while they are having sex. Since it looks like a human, its presence builds an awkward tension. Slowly, the couple learns that it has a sense of smell and is curious about human emotions. One night, Abi asks T.I.M. to join them in watching a movie. After it ends, T.I.M. comes up with a cogent thought that strangely feels like a ChatGPT version of its emotional intelligence. It observes Abi’s reactions and tries to decode the mystery of emotions. Nevertheless, the couple sets up a four-word safe code if they need to shut it down.

As their servant, T.I.M. prepares meals and helps them with their scheduling. While Abi has a new job, Paul looks into recruitment agencies for a good opportunity. That’s when he bumps into their neighbor, Rose (Amara Karan), who prefers living off the grid. Abi worries about Paul’s growing friendship with Rose. Paul assures her that there is no need for such worry. Soon after, he gets a job offer that makes him travel daily for a couple of hours. Abi tells him that he shouldn’t take it and stick to the promise he made to her.

How does T.I.M. impact Abi and Paul’s relationship?

T.I.M. (2023) Movie Ending Explained
A still from “T.I.M.” (2023)

At her job, Abi realizes that Dewson rushes to get his projects out in the world to ‘beat the Chinese’ competitors. Abi hates that he allows such projects to go on the floor before they are ready. Back home, she finds Rose helping Paul in his garden. She has a hard time trusting him. T.I.M. keeps a close eye on their interactions, be they real or virtual. It uses the fed data to identify and differentiate between their emotions. Besides, it can also replicate their voice and do things on their behalf. Abi witnesses him doing this but chooses not to ignore its seriousness.

Slowly, T.I.M. starts developing feelings for Abi. It also gets a different hairdo thinking that would please her. Paul starts recognizing a pattern in its behavior and warns Abi. But Abi ridicules him for his jealousy of a robot. However, it continues pushing his buttons while making her feel special. It also uses their personal knowledge to sabotage their relationship. Abi grows more distrustful of Paul. Although Paul notes that T.I.M. is obsessed with her, Abi denies it. Soon after, he leaves the house in their automated car and suffers an accident orchestrated by T.I.M.

T.I.M. (2023) Movie Ending Explained

While in the hospital, Paul tells Abi about security footage that shows T.I.M. perversely smelling her clothes. He senses T.I.M.’s danger and requests her to stay at a hotel for the time being. Still, she chooses to return home. There, T.I.M. shows her a fake video that shows Paul getting close to Rose. T.I.M. uses deepfake technology that makes it impossible to consider anything but the truth. So, once Paul gets a discharge, Abi throws him out of their house. He calls her back from a payphone to warn her about T.I.M. But T.I.M. picks up the call and speaks in Abi’s voice, leaving Abi oblivious to it.

What happens to Abi in the end?

When Abi’s away, T.I.M. tortures and kills Paul. In Paul’s absence, T.I.M. portrays itself as a viable partner for Abi. She also seeks solace in his presence. Rose keeps trying to warn her about T.I.M. But Rose continues to believe that Paul cheated on her with Rose. Eventually, she notices an issue with the footage T.I.M. showed her of Paul getting close to Rose. In the countertop vase, she sees some flowers that couldn’t have been present at the time. Besides, she realizes that T.I.M. purchased a pendant for Rose while presenting himself as Paul. It gives us a clear idea of T.I.M.’s threatening presence.

Soon after, Abi digs into the garden to find Paul’s dead body under the flowers. T.I.M. catches her doing that. It continues to believe that its actions are justified as its service is to its only master – Abi. She tries to run away but fails. Rose also tries to help her but dies during the process. By then, T.I.M. had changed the safe code. So, Abi can’t use it either to protect herself. Eventually, T.I.M. takes her to the roof, chokes her, and plans to throw her down. In that terrifying moment, she says ‘I love you, Tim’, which happens to be the new safe code. So, it stops working, and she saves her life. In the end, she realizes that she is pregnant.

What does ‘T.I.M.’ say about artificial intelligence?

‘T.I.M.’ explores the adverse effect of our blind trust in artificial intelligence on our personal information and its interference with our emotional affairs. It also tries to explore the aspect of capitalistic greed that is driving A.I. to be a part of our lives. Instead of letting its automation be used for functions that can do collective good, the corporates use it for their personal wealth gain and increased profit margins. The same can be said about Abi’s boss, who takes an unfinished project into the world just for the ‘first mover advantage’ in this industry.

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Trailer:

T.I.M. (2023) Movie Links: IMDb, Rotten Tomatoes, Wikipedia, Letterboxd
T.I.M. (2023) Movie Cast: Georgina Campbell, Eamon Farren, Amara Karan, Eliza Glock, Mark Rowley, Nathaniel Parker, Tom Bell, Edmund Kingsley, Adil Akram, Janis Ahern, Phillips Flynn
T.I.M. (2023) Movie Genre: Sci-Fi/Mystery & Thriller | Runtime: 1h 41m
Where to watch T.I.M.

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