In a near-future world where there is no privacy, ignorance or anonymity, our private memories are recorded and crime almost ceases to exist. In trying to solve a series of unsolved murders, Sal Frieland stumbles onto a young woman who appears to have subverted the system and disappeared. She has no identity, no history and no record. Sal realizes it may not be the end of crime but the beginning. Known only as THE GIRL, she must be found before Sal becomes the next victim.
Directed by: Andrew Niccol
. Starring: Clive Owen
, Amanda Seyfried
, Colm Feore
, Sonya Walger
, Mark O'Brien
, Joe Pingue
, Iddo Goldberg
, Sebastian Pigott
, Rachel Roberts
, Ethan Tavares
, Marco Grazzini
, Conrad Coates
, Mayko Nguyen
. Music by: Christophe Beck
Imagine a world where everything you see is collected in your brain and stored as a digital record, which can be accessed sometimes with your permission, and sometimes without. It's a world where everyone is accountable for their actions, because their actions cannot be hidden. We can immediately imagine the benefits of such technology because lying, cheating, stealing and murder cannot occur in an environment where everyone's digital record can be accessed, and evidence of consciousness of guilt gets written and stored on your digital brain, which can then be either downloaded or shared telepathically.
However, in the real human world, the desire to lie, cheat, steal and murder does not go away, simply because there is technology to uncover one's deeds. In the real world, people want privacy for non-nefarious as well as nefarious deeds. And in Anon, this is where computer hackers come to engage and sell their services. One such hacker specializes in erasing client's records, as well as the records of those who interacted with her client in planning or engaging in criminal, and sub-criminal deeds. The only problem is that there is a serial killer killing off the hacker's clients and framing the hacker for the murders.
Anon is both an original and clever movie which addresses the philosophical question of how much information should the government have regarding your personal life, your thoughts and your memories, all at the expense of privacy and anonymity. It forces the viewer into a creepy world where your personal thoughts are public, and that nothing is secret, or even worse, that your record can be altered.
I'm not sure if Anon is as much original as it is simply taking existing technology and extrapolating where tech companies, and a police state would love to have tech go. Because it has not been done before, and subtly integrates into the discussion, the tension of the technology privacy debate, and a serial killer, Anon, gets high marks for originality. This simply has not been done before.
Anon, however, doesn't go the whole mile. Anon disappoints in that it had the potential to be a truly superb film. The failure to show the political, social and economic struggle as to how the world got to the point of implementing such technology is a catastrophic failure in that it suggests that this level of intrusion is simply the new normal, and that there is, and was never outrage behind its implementation. WTF. It also, fails to discuss or elaborate the potential for such technology to be weaponized or simply create world wide anarchy.
Additionally, I took issue with (1) slow pace of the film (2) underdevelopment of the serial killer (3) somewhat monotone acting and (4) seemingly lack of suspense and drama, given the potential issues which could have been incorporated into the film.
The above issues notwithstanding, it is the kind of movie, you get drawn into to watch and listen, because there are some good nuggets in the script. Given the message, I'll watch it a second time, and maybe a third, even though the ending was both anti-climatic, and disappointing.
Review by parkerrodney from the Internet Movie Database.