The story in Fragile Machine follows a young woman named Leda Nea who is about to embark on a journey she can't even begin to imagine. Depressed with her life after the death of her young daughter, Leda literally decides to sign away her soul, and volunteers to take place in an experiment attempting to bridge the gap between humans and machines. They take her soul, and transfer it into a robot body built to resemble that of a female.
But the project doesn't go completely according to plan. As the woman's life force remains permanently trapped inside this hollow shell, she begins to wrestle with the very idea of existence. As time passes, it seems that thoughts slowly turn into waking nightmares, slowly descending into insanity, looking for any way to escape what she has become.
Fragile Machine is a unique film, animated or otherwise, which tells it's story through beautiful visual imagery set to music, rather than typical dialog flicks or even the occasional musical numbers. Although there is no dialog or singing, there is a doll which does some narration between the various segments, setting the stage for what is coming up next. Other than those few parts, the story plays out through the wonderful dream-like computer generated sequences.
One thing that really stunned me about this film is how few people actually worked on it. As I sat watching the credit roll by, I kept seeing the same three or four names over and over again for practically every part of production, including the music and computer graphics. I used to always hear people say how amazing it was that the dubbed version of Voltron: Defender of the Universe had so few voice actors but managed to pull off voice so many characters, and I always though "that's not amazing, you can tell they had only a handful of actors because most of the minor characters sounded exactly the same". Well, this flick apparently had only a handful of actors, and that IS amazing!
I'm sure a lot of people would love to discuss the religious aspects and philosophies examined within it, talking for hours about the various underlying meanings and ramifications and what-not, but then anyone who knows me at all is aware that I am not one of those people. So while this is a truly gorgeous film, it didn't have quite the emotional impact that I think it would probably have on most other people. If you happen to be one of these people, and I do know there are a lot of you out there, you should definitely try to see this with another person who would love to discuss.
Fragile Machine was created by Aoineko, and released in 2005. Already the film has been receiving honors, and has won the Best Animated File award from the Sedona International Film Festival 2005. You can find much more information available about this film as well as view the trailer and purchase the DVD, at the official Fragile Machine website www.fragilemachine.com.