As technology becomes more and more a part of our lives, the threat and fear of a digital dystopia is ever more present. Among the many concerns raised by the advancement and scope of technology is privacy and the unerasable digital footprint. Taking a cue from Black Mirror's The Entire History of You and Minority Report, Netflix's latest film, Anon, finds Clive Owen as a detective in a world devoid of privacy and anonymity. Your every action is recorded and cataloged and thus crime is virtually non-existent. Anon asks what happens when the technology we rely upon can't be trusted and can be used against us. Take a look at an ominous and advancing future in the trailer for Anon, below.
Let this be a warning, if anyone ever offers to install a chip in your head or a camera contact, just don't. This trailer provides a fascinating look at the dangers of what could happen when such powerful technology is used for ill. It is kind of a cool concept that Clive Owen's Sal Frieland is almost hallucinating or being gaslighted by having whatever technology records his every action hacked and manipulated to achieve a certain end. You are inclined to trust your eyes, but just because you are seeing something, doesn't mean it's the truth. In a world with no privacy, there is a character who manages to live off the grid in plain sight. Amanda Seyfriend's 'The Girl' seems to be the most interesting part of this narrative and finding out how she does what she does and why is what I'm most curious about.
Like Minority Report, we are not seeing the rise of this technology, but what happens when a world with a status quo built around it is suddenly forced to face its fallibility. While the premise is clear and the logline provides some information, the trailer for Anon actually seems to hold back a fair bit of what's actually going on, as I suspect this movie will have a few twists and turns before the end. This trailer also shows a fair bit of first person perspective, and while that could get a little video game-y, it is an interesting tool that could be used to disorient the audience as much as the main character, unable to trust our own eyes because he is unable to trust his.
Netflix's original films of late have had plenty of buzz, but many have fallen short of expectations critically, evaporating from the public conscious just as quickly as they came. Luckily, Netflix clearly likes this type of science fiction fare and the talent on Anon is encouraging. In addition to the cast that includes Clive Owen, Amanda Seyfried and Colm Feore, Anon is written and directed by Andrew Niccol. Andrew Niccol is the Oscar-nominated screenwriter who wrote and directed Lord of War and worked on the stories for The Terminal and The Truman Show. He also wrote and directed that beacon of science fiction: Gattaca.
Anon is certainly tackling some interesting issues and if it delivers it could provide an interesting commentary on the pitfalls of technology like so many great sci-fi stories do. Anon premieres on Netflix on May 4th. Check out our guide to see some of the other big movies heading to Netflix this year, and for all the latest on the computers watching you right now, keep it locked on CinemaBlend.