Imagine a world where privacy no longer exists....okay let me start over.
In today's world, social media pretty much runs how we communicate and watch one another. With the standard smartphone or wearable electronic device one can see pretty much anything that is shown to them on a global scale. Through a web browser like Google Chrome or social media outlet like youTube or Facebook, one's audience is limitless. Our relationship with technology has blossomed in the last 10-15 years on an unprecedented level. It goes without saying that much of what we see in communication and technology today, the speedy interfaces, vivid pixel colors, endless apps, etc. is fascinating, entertaining and educational at times. However, we may have become so distracted by the fun and innovative ideas that technology put before our eyes that we miss out on who is actually running and owning these technologies. Organizations owned by governing bodies that want to monitor our every move while we socialize on Snapchat or see what level we can get too on a game like Candy Crush.
In the latest sci-fi film from Netflix, Director Andrew Niccol's "Anon" (2018) shows us just how difficult anonymity might become in the near future. Instead of browser search technology being before our eyes on a monitor or cellphone display, the interface is literally in our eyes. Anon centers around detective Sal Frieland (Clive Owen) trying to solve a string of murders by an anonymous serial killer. This murderer has figured out a way to hack into the eyes or their victims so that the victim sees not the killer, but their own demise. This allows the killer to remain anonymous while the detective and staff log into the victim's database with their eyes and see what occurred through the eyes of the victim or killer through what is know as "The Ether".
Clive Owen, Anon (2018)
I will admit that this sci-fi film is a bit rigorous in its attempt to shoot within the confines of its content. We are given a lot of POV (point of view) shots with data flashing all over the screen in most of the film. This will not be for everyone and took me a moment to adjust to. Based on the subject matter, this way of shooting the story is very necessary to push the narrative as it can get confusing as to who's eyes you're looking through if you don't stick close to the story line to figure out who the killer is. Don't get me wrong, the execution is nice. The cinematography is beautiful but the story is one to stick close to as you follow detective Frieland on this very unusual investigation.
The pros of a film like this is that it is a very strong set piece for discussion regarding issues surrounding individual privacy and how far technology will go before it crosses the line...if it hasn't already. One con would be, as stated earlier the busy execution of all of the data scrolling up, down, left and right on the screen, none of which you can read or see clearly. I do understand that this visual tool is more for affect, but it just gets too busy on the screen at certain points which can distract one from other actions in the story.
I recommend this film for the good cast, plot and interesting execution.