As technology is spreading its tentacles in as myriad ways as it can be possible, the fallouts are being documented cinematically as well to underline mindless adoption of technologies by humans. Danish film THE TAKEOVER is one such film in the category.
The year was 1993. We were watching DEMOLITION MAN (1993) starring Sylvester Stallone and Sandra Bullock. There was one scene where for the sake of love making Sandra Bullock wore a contraption and asked Sylvester Stallone to wear the same as well and experience the magic of love making without actually doing it. Sylvester Stallone’s character just pulled off the contraption and exclaimed – if love making is to be done like this then it is a matter of disgrace. It was a cinematic visualization of where and in what form could technology lead to!
Cut to 2022. THE TAKEOVER, a film from the Netherlands now showing on Netflix, has brought a different dimension to the manner in which technology is trying to creep into our lives and control our existence.
It opens up with a hacking activity going on in an army establishment and an ethical hacker- the main character in the film enacted by Holly Mae Brood as the lead character of the film or the ethical hacker blanks out all the screens all across with a middle finger. She, through her hacking of some official sites by this act, has managed to derail a nefarious plan and now they are out to wipe out the existence of this lady through the same technology – a battle between ethics and unethical ways leveraging the technology. However, the lady also has a team of friends who back her up in her initiatives.
The USP of THE TAKEOVER lies in the fact that while the main character is played by a woman the film has also been directed by a woman- Annemarie van de Monde, cinematically breaking the glass-ceiling of the environment of code programming of the cyber world. As Denmark is a country which is an admixture of communities from around the world, the boyfriend of the main character is a person of Chinese origin. Incidentally, THE TAKEOVER also has underlined the perils of data store houses in different countries, in this case the data storage is taking place in China and how storage of data in a country other than where the citizens live can imperil the freedom of citizens!
One of the pitfalls of increasing adoption of technologies – more so the face recognition technology-has been used in the climax of the film to drive home the point about introducing such technologies in public transport systems without running complete tests and certifying it as road worthy. Here, is a bus which is driver-less, and it has gone berserk as the controls have muddled up.
THE TAKEOVER brings into relief the pitfalls of facial recognition technology as it is being planned to be increasingly adopted as a safety measure the world over. It starkly brings out how technology can be manipulated to use the images obtained from facial recognition stored in databases for ulterior motives- in THE TAKEOVER the face image of the lead character being juxtaposed on a shooter and transmitted all across the city proclaiming her as the offender!
THE TAKEOVER is a dot and byte testimony to the thin borderline that exists between an ethical and a non-ethical hacking. It also underlines and tries to drive home the point that the citizens in the present era of technology driven environment should be cautious about sharing their data in the public domain.
THE TAKEOVER has also underlined the path of evolution that hacking is experiencing. So far, the domain of hacking has been a male prerogative, but through THE TAKEOVER the filmmakers have propositioned another area where the glass ceiling needs to break and there could not be a better point of reference than THE TAKEOVER to prove it. Apart from focusing on the technological aspects and the perils of its intrusion in day-to-day life, THE TAKEOVER is also a visual delight as it provides a digital foray into the picturesque surroundings of the Netherlands.
As the ethical character has uncovered a privacy scandal, the story of THE TAKEOVER is a fight of an ethical hacker to prove her innocence. She is able to do it with conviction as she is aware that in the regime of coding- CODE NEVER LIES.
As we move to an era where digital integration into our day-to-day life is becoming more intermeshed, it is coding which would be the saviour and therefore for the current generation learning coding indeed is a must and THE TAKEOVER is a visual testimony for its adoption in a progressive manner.
Movie: The Takeover
Director: Annemarie van de Mond
Cast: Holly Mae Brood, Geza Weisz, Frank Lammers, Susan Radder, Walid Benmbarek, Noortje Herlaar
Streaming on: Netflix
Runtime: 87 Mins