Directed by Andrew Niccol,
Starring Clive Owen, Afiya Bennett, Morgan Allen, Amanda Seyfried, Rachael Roberts, Jeffrey Men
A science fiction tale set in a world where we get real time information on people and places just by looking at them. When a detective sees a girl walking down the street and yet has no information on her it sparks his interest, but when she’s tied to a series of murders, that ignites the flame that will lead him on an investigation that will change his life. Starring Clive Owen and Amanda Seyfried this is sci -i that is just, barely just, outside our current technology levels.
I like Clive Owen, he has this tired, world weary, and knowledgeable way about him that sells the roles that he is playing. Amanda Seyfried, to be honest, I can take or leave. Other than the Mamma Mia role she hasn’t done much that left me thinking she’s going to be one of the greats. That being said I think in Anon she took on a role that would challenge her more than some of her previous work. Adding to the feeling of enjoyment of this film is the fact that the tech here, the world we’re watching, is just about one step above where we are at the moment.
You are recording your life in real time, your recordings are open to the authorities, and crime is low. Clive plays a weary detective who is good at his job, but with little crime around you can tell he’s tired of doing the job, also there is a great loss that he’s not fully put behind him. He drinks too much and while it doesn’t effect his work, it effects the personal relationships around him. When an actual murder takes place, and the killer is hijacking other peoples implants and eyes, there is a sudden spring in his step. He starts to think that the mysterious girl, Seyfried, has something to do with it, as she is what they call a ghost, and shares the memory of the girl with his fellow detective. After sharing her image someone, maybe even the girl herself, has erased all of her appearances from their memories. Seyfried plays this girl with a quiet confidence, she knows how to hide in plain sight, and it’s a rather understated performance.
Andrew Niccol is behind the typewriter and in the director#s chair. He’s no stranger to the science fiction genre, of course, with the acclaimed Gattaca under his belt, which gives the audience a more stable place to watch from. The film needed to have a few extra punches though to drag it up to the outstanding. Don’t get me wrong, for me it’s a great way to spend an evening watching a film, two strong lead performances, and a good supporting cast. The bare bones of the film mixes Minority Report with the bleakness of Equilibrium. But it lacks the building power of both those films.
Clive Owen goes undercover to try and trap the Girl and the whole of the Police Force are placed at his disposal. It’s scary to think that some of this film could be our reality in the coming years, and when the hackers make changes to the history, finances, and work records to the hero. Honestly Anon isn’t going to be for everyone, it feels like an extended Outer Limits episode, with better performances and a more developed story. Some will write it off as a cheap science fiction junk, but not for me. I see every flaw in the film, I forgive it, because I watch so much science fiction that has a bigger budget, bigger special effects, but next to nothing when it comes to the soul of Anon.
Anon is released on Sky Cinema and in cinemas on May 11th