Technology has been a savior throughout the pandemic scare and the lockdown. Offering us means to connect, access necessary information, and safeguard ourselves from harm and contain the virus. Artificial Intelligence has boomed, bots are introduced, and life is becoming easier. Nevertheless, despite these constructive changes ‘Upload’ an Amazon Prime web series fails to work its charm. The following are my observations:
1. We Need Love and Respect
Irrespective of the state of life we are in, we love and like respect. With the amount of hard work, we invest in our endeavors. We aim at attaining respect from the members of the family, community, and society. Taapsee Pannu as Amrita Sabharwal in Thappad makes it evident to us. What she wants is only respect for all the sacrifices she does for her husband. There could be loopholes and secrets in our life that we want to hide.
We do not want anyone to invade our privacy. Technological development like ‘Upload’ will encourage surveillance. It would mean totalitarian governance just like ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ by Margaret Atwood or ‘1984′ by George Orwell suggests. The big daddy or big bosses would check and scrutinize us. And when we want to freely engage in an activity the wrath of the authority will haunt us. Our thoughts, actions, ideas will hardly be respected.
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2. Love for Freedom as Against Imprisonment
Imprisonment is a method of rehabilitating criminals. In the upload of Nathan Brown, he feels imprisoned. He loses his freedom to act and behave the way he feels to. Curtailed by the fear that his girlfriend Ingrid Kannerman is watching and monitoring his life. Just a customer that he is of Horizen whose consciousness can be deleted or uploaded as and when Ingrid Kannerman wants. After the awareness that she is possessive of him dictating terms on his afterlife at Lake View, he decides along with his mother to change the place of his stay. So even if he has poor conditions of living what he seeks is freedom. Freedom like Rajkummar Rao as Shaurya longs for in ‘Trapped‘.
3. Desire to Be a Blessing Not a Burden
We earn bread and butter not just for the sustenance of ourselves but for our family. We spend the money we earn for our education, entertainment, relaxation, etc. But when it comes to ‘Upload’ despite the person being uploaded is our family, she or he becomes a non-earning member and a burden. At times, she or he may spend a lump sum like Luke who accesses upgraded items without paying for them. The one uploaded doesn’t age like Dylan who gets frustrated feeling burdensome to his family as he observes that they are least worried about him or has forgotten him except his mother who shows interest in him.
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4. As Spiritual Beings, We Want To Enjoy Bliss
Man has run after immortality several times. In ‘Afsos’ an Indian black comedy we get to know how Nakul the protagonist survives despite several attempts to die. Thereafter he chances upon a monk Fokatiya who narrates the legend of the Amrut or the elixir of life. But Nakul is hardly interested to drink Amrut. While we would all want immortality which an ‘Upload’ promises us, we too would escape from drinking the elixir as soon as we see the result of drinking the elixir on Russian tourist Jim.
But an immortal life would, in reality, mean adjusting to the flux in reality along with other advancements and experiences as narrated by the immortal King Duleep Singh. One may feel real but purposeless. Everything is provided as per the selected package but that is not because one has earned it. Therefore there is no contentment in what one wears, eats, and feels.
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5. Experiencing the Beauty of Life
When Horizen with the help of Nathan Brown gives Nora’s father Dave Antony a tour of the Lake View he is almost convinced. But because he believes in a soul, and that his wife will wait for him, he decides not to opt for an upload. Nora doesn’t want to lose her father. Her fear is sincere but wouldn’t that mean until she is alive she will be able to take care of her father at Lake View. Even she will be able to join him after the upload but that would again be under the company employee surveillance. When on earth we may at times want to run away from experiencing every emotion, like, fear, happiness, sadness, rejection, hatred, etc. but that is what makes us human. The beauty of life, thus, is experiencing every emotion. It breaks, makes, and moulds us into refined and better human beings.
In conclusion, thus, technology at its best is wonderful as long as it assists us in bettering our life situations here on earth. ‘Upload’ is a futuristic technology, thinking of it even though excites me, gives me nightmares. Because I want freedom, respect, and love for what I do best. As an emotional being, I want to experience everything that comes my way as planned by my creator and muse. As a spiritual being, I want to transcend to my creator and enjoy eternal bliss.