Your weekly Netflix Pick is once again turning its attention to Amazon Prime. The Prime video selection is varied and has a lot of options Netflix doesn’t. I fell down the rabbit hole of endless browsing that plagues everyone who uses streaming services and decided enough was enough. I stopped on a movie called Anna because the cast. Reading the premise made me press play.
John (Mark Strong) is a memory detective. These special detectives show psychic tendencies and, with the aid of some modern technology, can enter the memories of their subjects. John returns to work after some personal issues. His boss, Sebastian (Brian Cox), gives John what should be an easy assignment.
John begins meeting with Anna Greene (Taissa Farmiga). Anna is a troubled but highly intelligent girl on a hunger strike. John’s job was simply to get her to eat. While delving into Anna’s memories it’s clear there is a lot more beneath the surface. Is Anna a victim? Or is she a dangerous sociopath?
Anna blends just the right amount of science fiction with a compelling story. The exploration of the human mind, especially those that are highly functioning but deemed slightly ‘off’ is always interesting subject matter. The mind journeys fall somewhere between Inception and Mind Hunter. The fact that the subjects can manipulate the information being experienced adds a new layer of intrigue.
It’s also interesting to see how the movie so accurately handles the idea of a memory. A memory is not a true to life reflection. Details are skewed based on a number of parameters whether willing or not.
The plot unfolds quickly and keeps you on your toes. Every memory delivers another level of intrigue and more problems than solutions. Taissa Farmiga first showed her acting chops fully in the premiere season of American Horror Story. Anna is practically an acting showcase for Farmiga as she goes toe to toe with the incredibly talented Marc Strong.
Some questions are raised when it comes to the quality of the production. The sound editing often felt muffled. While score was effectively used to bring in tension the conversations between the two weren’t as crystal clear as they could have been. The video quality also lacked a bit in the world of cheaply produced 1080p and the ever increasing push to 4K. These may have been indications of the fairly modest budget.
Despite a couple technical shortcomings Anna is a taut thriller. Without delving into spoiler territory director Jorge Dorado doesn’t exactly stick the landing in the end. It’s still very much worth a watch, maybe that ending will work for you.