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Identity Theft in “The Net”, Movie Review Example

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Movie Review

Identity theft is a very serious issue within the United States and in many other modern countries throughout the world.  The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) estimates that as many as 9 million Americans have their identities stolen each year (FTC.gov).  Throughout the film “The Net”, director Irwin Winkler attempt to bring this problem to the film industry to help educate millions of people on the dangers of identity theft through the mode of cinema.  While the plot is an important aspect of this film, the use of lighting and sound effects also play an important role in communicating the mood to the audience in one way or another.

The main character, Angela Bennett, is a very intelligent computer expert that spends most of her time in front of a computer keyboard working on programming and other forms of communication over the internet.  Sandra Bullock plays the main character and brings a highly emotional and beautiful aspect to the role that still makes the audience believe that she could very well have been a computer expect.  Eventually, an friend that she has recently met asks her to analyze a computer program on a disk that appears to have an odd glitch on it to help assess the problem with the glitch.  Bennett’s friend is set to meet up with her, but he unfortunately experiences his untimely death in a plane crash.  Within a few scenes afterward, Bennett quickly discovers the secret information located within the program.  The secret program was a Trojan horse virus program that allowed for FBI security and medical files to be accessed at the touch of a button.  Bennett discovers that her life has been turned upside down and inside out because all of her records and forms of identification have been erased and she is no longer known as Angela Bennett, but rather she is not known as the United States fugitive Ruth Marx.  This twist in the plot forces her to resort to elusive behaviors and experience much danger throughout the film, but after several of her close friends and allies have died, she eventually uncovers the evil plan and the false Angela Bennett to gain her identity back.  Finally, she moves in with her mother and appears to have overcome the dangers of having her identity stolen by such dangerous enemies.

The lighting and sound also play important parts in the film to help express the mood of the various scenes.  For instance, when the main character is realizing the true nature of the program, the entire room is very dark and the only light that is visible comes from the light of the computer screen.  This helps explain the imagery of the character coming to light and realizing the truth behind her situation.  Furthermore, the sounds are much exaggerated during times of distress.  As she runs away from danger, the sounds are very loud and very sharp to the ear to draw an almost “scary movie” sense to the audience through heightened nerves and unknown actions.  In essence, the lighting and sound are crucial towards creating the mood of the film.

As previously stated, identity theft is a very serious issue for thousands of people in the United States.  “Identity theft occurs when someone uses your personally identifying information, like your name, Social Security number, or credit card number, without your permission, to commit fraud or other crimes” (FTC.gov).  The film “The Net” shows the extremity of identity theft at the hands of criminals at the federal level.  Although the movie is definitely not a well-known blockbuster, the excellent acting from Sandra Bullock pulls the film together as Roger Ebert discussed in his review of the film, she makes the film worth watching and worth caring about (Ebert, 1995).

Works Cited

Ebert, Roger. “The Net :: rogerebert.com :: Reviews.” Rogerebert.com :: Movie reviews, essays and the Movie Answer Man from film critic Roger Ebert. 28 July 1995. Web. 17 Nov. 2009. <http://rogerebert.suntimes.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19950728/REVIEWS/507280302/1023>.

FTC.gov. “About Identity Theft – Deter. Detect. Defend. Avoid ID Theft.” Federal Trade Commission. Web. 17 Nov. 2009. <http://www.ftc.gov/bcp/edu/microsites/idtheft/consumers/about-identity-theft.html>.

The Net. Dir. Irwin Winkler. By John D. Brancato and Michael Ferris. Perf. Sandra Bullock. Columbia Pictures Corporation, 1995. DVD.

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