Dir.: Andrew Niccol; Cast: Clive Owen, Amanda Seyfried, Colm Feore, Sonya Walger; Germany 2018, 100 min.
New Zealand born director/writer Andrew Niccol (The Host) has managed to create the ultimate misogynist feature where baddies rule the world, and women are just sex objects. On the same lines as his previous features, Gattaca and In Time, Anon is set in an imagined future, where crimes are unheard of due to a surveillance system that records everyone, and digital footprints are freely available to the law enforcers whose brains have been computerised.
In this dystopia we meet Sal Frieland (Owen) is a detective working for the squad who tracks murderers by accessing the cloud-based visual memories of killers and their victims. He encounters a woman, known as Anon (Seyfried), who has no digital identity so threatening their security. Unleashing a sting operation he pretends to be a potential client but in so doing exposes his own troubled past. But The Girl soon finds out his profession and intention, and makes life hell for him. As the situation escalates, Anon leaves the audience with more questions than answers.
Apart from the gratuitous sex scenes and the nearly all-male police squad, Niccol manages to ruin the images with a bombardment of graphics and texts, keeping the audience reading instead of watching. DoP Amir Mokri (Transformers) finds inventive angles to show this absurdist functional world, which looks like laboratory for animal research. But Anon is, at the same time, frightfully old-fashioned when it coms to vices: Sal and his pals smoke, drink and snuff Coke, somehow the male dominated future world is as unbearable for the buddies, as the present. Hint: there are other emotions apart from guild and paranoia. AS
ON RELEASE FROM FRIDAY 4 MAY 2018