The idea of man being taken over by machines doesn’t feel much like science fiction anymore, when so much of our lives are digitised and we have robots that find books for us in libraries. Actual. Robots.
In Lapsis, we see the subtly of how we could end up ruled by technology, and why the takeover would be our own doing.
Ray Tincelli is a delivery man living in an alternate present, where “cablers” take wires across the country linking up a network for an emerging quantum economy that will rely on its passageways (think a fancy NBN).
People that run the cable make big money, and with Ray trying to provide healthcare to his sickly brother, he’s compelled to take on job after job, racing to complete each route so he can pay for medication.
Things get tricky when robots are assigned to certain routes, threatening to take jobs from humans who can’t work as fast on foot. With an “eye in the sky” protecting the robots from being tampered with and disciplining any human who tries to shut them down, a race emerges between man and machine, and who can outwit the other.
The relevance of Lapsis to modern life isn’t lost on the audience.
We love our technology when it serves us, but when it takes our jobs does that affection still exist? We know excessive screen time isn’t healthy, but the convenience of being able to watch anything at our fingertips is just so attractive.
We love our technology when it serves us, but when it takes our jobs does that affection still exist?
Where does the line exist between progression and self-destruction?
In many ways Ray is enslaved to the very thing he’s hoping will help him. He doesn’t want to spend every moment running cable, but he needs the money and he needs to beat the robots, so he has to continue.
Ray is benefiting from this uncertain emerging market, but it’s also costing him. And there’s so many way Ray’s plight can mirror our own.
At the shallow end for instance, it speaks to the cost-benefit ratio of keeping unhealthy relationships for the sake of company, or watching shows we’re uneasy with to “stay relevant”.
Most acutely, Ray is an example of someone being naively funnelled into a system he doesn’t fully understand. His life is viewed as a commodity, and it’s only in stepping back and seeing the system at work, that he can really decide what role he wants within it.
In our fast-paced and futuristic world, it pays to consider what systems are driving our behaviour, and whether or not the cost of convenience and “trendiness” is always worth the price.
Lapsis is in select cinemas now. Rated PG