Elliot Anderson (Rami Malek), cyber engineer by day, vigilante hacker by night. He is a ghost anarchist hacker known by the alias of Mr Robot who persuades Elliot to join his group of vigilante hackers known as fsociety. Elliot has social anxiety disorder and connects to people by hacking them. Social media accounts, medical records and so on. He even went to far as to hack his counsellor. He’s interested in Mr Robot but uncertain whether he wants in. The series tails Mr. Robot’s efforts to recruit Elliot in his goal to destroy the corporation Elliot is employed to protect. Enforced by his personal principles, he struggles to fight against the urge to have a chance to take down the multinational CEOs that are controlling and destroying the world, one continent at a time.
Mr Robot is one of the best written shows of 2015 critiquing many relevant and current themes that we see today, such as: corrupt corporations, surveillance, technology, hacking and even the world as know it. As an audience, we see what Elliot sees and the show is written in a way that we feel what he feels. We are inside his head, the head of person suffering from social anxiety, depression and a little drug problem. Information, privacy, reality, mental health, loss…the list is endless. One could say he is constantly talking in code.
He has a damaged mind but is very skilled with computers, but don’t they say the greatest minds are a little crazy? Elliot is a main POV character but we do get perspectives from other characters when Elliot is not present. It’s deeply emotional to witness the inside of a person so damaged. He’s deeply cynical about the society he lives in and I believe he has every right to be. Society is lazy and easily distracted by things such as reality TV and social media. Big corporations are evil and corrupt. Nobody can be trusted. Society is fake. Everyone is essentially playing a role to suit their own agenda and everyone is okay with this as long as it all follows the norm. Anyone going against this norm is demonized as the bad guy. Going against the status quo creates anarchy and chaos because it is not part of the plan.
Mr Robot shows us the deep flaws in humanity but also our incredulous ways of thinking. We are so comfortable with what have, that change is unthinkable. fsociety hacks the corrupt AKA Evil Corp. Those with great power but do nothing to help others. Seems familiar doesn’t it? Mr Robot is a grand overview of everything that is wrong with our world. The hypocrisy in politics, corporate business people abusing capitalism and we take so much, give so little and have suppressed our humanity by promoting our inability to feel.
The world is sick. It’s broken and Elliot lashes out at it because he feels that the world has failed him and so has society. Fuck Society! With each episode I watched, I began to sympathize more and more with Elliot’s cause. We tell ourselves everything is fine but in reality it’s not. People are being stripped of their basic human rights by people with too much power and Mr Robot is a metaphor for the righteous hero out to stop the big boss. It’s basically David V Goliath. A world free of privacy and independent thought is a scary thing.
Rami Malek’s performance as Elliot has to be commended. I love his inner thought dramatic monologues about society and how fucked it is. What makes it better is that he does all this while maintaining a straight face without one hint of emotion or at other times when he lets out his anger. He always delivers a great performance in each episode. Despite Elliot’s social anxiety and hate towards people in general, I grew to like him somewhat. Then there are other characters he interacts with like his alter ego Mr Robot (Christian Slater), Angela (Portia Doubleday), Tyrell (Martin Wallström), Darlene (Carly Chaikin), and Joanna (Stephanie Corneliussen). They all delivered sound performances and they all had their moments.
In conclusion, a well thought out series with a great concept that is scarily relevant and genuine. On top of the intelligent story and strong performances, Mr. Robot was visually invigorating. In many scenes, the cinematography and framing made Elliot seem small contrasted against a big corporation and the world. He is unnoticeable and is just another sheep in the flock.