Picture Credit: tsuihin – TimoStudios
Stealing someone’s identity is a serious subject and over the years the film industry has looked at the issue in a number of different ways.
From the humour shown in Mrs Doubtfire to the dangers that technology poses on us in The Net, this is a list of the best films that tackle the subject of identity theft.
Probably one of the most humorous and outrages takes on fake identities. Robin Williams plays an actor who after a bitter divorce disguises himself as a Scottish female housekeeper in order to spend time with his Children, to whom the Mother has been granted full custody.
The fundamental reason for the fathers (Daniel) false identity comes from desperation to spend quality time with his kids. He shows the lengths that a Parent will go to, to maintain a relationship with his Children. The negatives of identity theft are mainly disguised because Daniel is such a hyperactive and loveable character.
Obviously, this is a movie to be taken in a light-hearted nature. In real life if your Dad dressed up as an old Scottish Women, you’d be pretty horrified.
A revolutionary medical technique allows FBI agent Sean Archer to take the physical appearance of insane criminal mastermind Castor Troy and infiltrate his organization. Presented in confusing situations and thrilling action sequences, Face Off gives an extreme idea of identity theft.
Ultimately this is identity theft that shows no boundaries, especially when Castor one ups Sean and takes his physical appearance. The film portrays the feelings of isolation and loneliness you would feel from being trapped inside someone else’s body.
Although technology in The Net has advanced majorly since the film was released in 1995, it shows how your life can be completely derailed by the practice. After Angela stumbles upon top-secret information on her computer, her life is suddenly turned upside down when any reference of her existence is erased and she is given a new identity.
The technology shown in the movie wasn’t actually available in 1995 and is laughably dated now. However, the cyber thriller shows how your world can become consumed by cyberspace. In a way the movie also identifies how easily all your information can be accessed, changed and deleted through the Internet.
So what can we take from The Net? Mainly to be careful what information you’re giving out online and don’t try to de-bug secret files!
Catch Me If You Can
Based on the true story of Frank Abagnale JR, a high school student in the 1960s who goes around Manhattan pretending to be different people so that he can get money to get his parents back together.
A kinder light is placed on the criminal aspects of the Worlds biggest imposter, however the blockbuster frames how easy it is to take someone else’s identity. Frank assumed the identities of pilots, lawyers, and even managed to disguise himself as a U.S. prison agent.
The lesson that can be taken from Catch Me If You Can is simple; don’t pretend to be someone you’re not because in the end you will get caught.
These films all show a form of identity theft that may or may not teach you about how to keep your identity safer from thieves but they will be thoroughly entertaining.
Are there any films that deal with identity theft that you would recommend?
- License: Creative Commons image source
Imogen is an avid film enthusiast who takes a keen interest in the concept of identity and the importance of identity cards, for which she recommends ID Pro.