Anon is a film which has just been released on Netflix and stars Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried. The film comes written and directed by Andrew Niccol who some may know as the director of Gattaca (1997) which is actually one of my favourite sci-fi films.
Anon is a science fiction film set in the not too distant future where everyone seems to have an app in their eyes that records everything they do. Anyone can access your feed and see what you are currently looking at, including the police if you are suspected of doing something wrong. The world of Anon is a place where no one is anonymous, you can see people’s names as you walk down the street, everyone is tracked and it seems the authorities can look at what you’re doing at any time. But when one person, a hacker named ‘the girl’ (Amanda Seyfried) finds a way to make herself invisible to all in the network, it attracts the attention of authorities and Sal Frieland (Clive Owen) has to investigate. There’s also a bunch of murders and suspicious activities the detective discovers, which adds quite a bit of intrigue to the story.
I found the film to be quite interesting mainly because of the concept it introduced. At the moment in our current world there’s constant debate about what our devices are tracking and what information is being accessed without our permission or even worse, what can hackers or other unethical people can get a hold of.
In this future world, this idea is taken to a bit of an extreme level with everyone seeming to have a device inserted into their eyes. They can make calls to people, send messages and also record everything they do through widgets that pop up when they open their eyes. The problem with this is that not everyone wants that and there’s the idea suggested throughout the film that asks, what’s so bad about being anonymous and having a private life. Not everything is for others to see and just because someone wants to be anonymous, doesn’t mean they’re also some type of super villain. Not everyone needs to be connected. This is one of the few films I’ve seen that goes into the area of personal privacy, the only other I can think of recently was The Circle. It’s an interesting area to explore.
The actors are all pretty decent. I enjoyed Amanda Seyfried in the film quite a bit, her character was very illusive and mysterious which made her interesting. I do wish she had more screen time than she did though. I thought Clive Owen was decent in the film, but unfortunately, I think his character may bore some people as he comes across as a bit depressed. As the main character that we watch, as the film progresses I felt a little less interested in what he was doing as he was just a little boring.
As a sci-fi film, it’s not an action film or even a heavy CGI experience. It’s more of a thriller with a mystery. As something that’s just on Netflix to watch one weeknight, it’s good enough for a TV movie. It’s not a family film though, there’s quite a bit of nudity, murdering and slightly gory kills here and there. But nothing traumatising.
Overall I enjoyed my time with Anon this week. Amanda Seyfried was a joy to watch and Clive Owen put in some good work. The movie is intriguing and I liked the concepts it introduced about the importance of one’s privacy in the world and what right outsiders have to look into your private life. It’s definitely an interesting science fiction concept to think about, which does ring quite true to a lot of things that happen to us every day in the real world. If you’ve got some spare time and the film looks interesting to you, it’s worth taking a look at this week.