To See or Not to See: Anonymous
Anonymous is a cautionary tale for the digital age. Its premise is simple. As technology evolves, we increase the risk of identity theft, credit card forgery, and cyber terrorism. These threats are real and becoming more and more relevant—just ask Sony. Cyber terrorist groups can wreak havoc on the lives of many, especially countries and organizations. It’s this concept that Director Akan Satayev uses as a catalyst for his latest film.
The story follows Alex Danyliuk (Callan McAuliffe), a teenager who learns the ins and outs of computer programming. After his family hits financial woes, he turns to a life of online crime—fueled by his vendetta against the banks. Along the way, he encounters Sye (Daniel Eric Gold), a street hustler who introduces him to the world of black market trading, and Kira (Lorraine Nicholson), a fellow hacker who’s hiding a secret. Their actions gain the attention of Z—the head of an online crime group and a person of interest. And, it soon becomes a question of who’s playing who.
Tackling a film about hacking is a challenging endeavor. Filmmakers risks alienating audiences with too much technical jargon. And, it’s rarely appealing to focus on a character staring down at a computer screen for an extended period of time. Director Akan Satayev avoids all these mishaps in Anonymous. But, the film’s unlikable characters leave audiences with no one to root for. They’re amoral and rarely face consequences for their actions. That said, Callan McAuliffe emerges as a major star. He carries the film with ease and portrays his flawed character masterfully. We only wish there was a redeeming quality to his character.
Anonymous is worth watching but maybe just once.
★ ★ ½ out of 4
Photo Credit: Skylight Picture Works