Discerning facts and lies has become an even greater challenge with the rise of social media – especially the Instagram and TikTok. With these new platforms becoming great dens of advertising and self-promotion, the search for external validation and perfection has become the goal of many egocentrics and trigger for the most insecure. And based on the insanity that the digital age has become, Quinn Shephard makes a brilliant satirical case study with his new dramedy, Lie influencer. With a fictional plot entirely based on several real stories, the original Star+ extends the debate about how we relate to the virtual universe and what it says about ourselves.
Danni is an irritating young woman not liked by her co-workers, who aspires to a life as a journalist. Tired of being ignored by those around her, she decides to forge a trip to Paris, sharing her “adventure” with well-edited photos in Photoshop. What she didn’t expect was that a massive terrorist bombing in the Parisian capital would put her at the center of a huge mess, turning her into a civil rights activist-influencer – literally overnight. Lie influencer appropriates an acid humor to confront the audience and promote a self-reflection on authenticity in the age of social networks. Insightful in its comedic wits, the film always leaves a bittersweet taste on our lips with each scene.
With a dynamic montage that turns the movie into an immersive virtual experience, Lie influencer makes the countless fake cases we’ve seen on the internet escalate to almost biblical proportions, in order to shock the audience in a necessarily alarmist way. In a constant analogy with what we live daily as we zap through the Instagram and TikTok, the dramedy has a documentary air, but without losing the acidity of its humor. Getting rid of the classic hero’s journey – which we so often see in films of this size -, Shephard choose the hard path and skillfully demonstrate the real consequences of a fake online life.
AND Zoey Deutch receives the great mission of passing on this impactful message and does it in an exceptional way. With a powerful performance that glazes our eyes in her movements, she shines in every scene and once again shows her versatility to play any type of role. Dylan O’Brien doesn’t lag behind and makes a kind of caricature of Pete Davidson, with platinum hair and a despicable attitude – quite different from the good-guy features he normally has. The duo transforms Shephard’s satire into a wonderful Greek tragedy, as the filmmaker shocks and impresses us with a precise and surgical ending – which does not alleviate the guilt many carry for the lies they tell on the internet.