Lie Influencer – Film Review with Zoey Deutch

The new autoironic comedy by Quinn Shephard starts with an unusual content warning: “Warning: Content with flashing lights, trauma themes, and an unpleasant female protagonist. Discretion advised”. There couldn’t be a more accurate presentation. Addressing issues of privilege, mental health and the loneliness of hyperconnectivity, Lie influencer doesn’t lose its humor in a disturbingly familiar tale of the present time.

Parodying the frenetic pace of social media feeds, timelines and notifications, the film follows the story of the pathetic rise and fall of Danni Senders (Zoey Deutch), a young aspiring writer dissatisfied with her personal and professional insignificance. With no filter or any sense of reality, Danni regrets having missed the collective experience of 9/11 by being, at the time, on a cruise with her parents, inspiring disgust in the public right away. Failed in her attempts to get the attention of her co-workers and her unattainable influencer crush, Colin (Dylan O’Brien), the protagonist is convinced that gaining followers on social networks is the solution to all her problems. She then supercharges her profile with a string of edited photos of herself enjoying all the ostentation of a writers’ retreat in Paris.

Everything seemed to be going according to plan, until one morning Danni is bombarded by worried messages and calls from her parents: news circulates around the world about a terrorist attack on the Arc de Triomphe, minutes after Danni posts a photo. on the monument. Admit the hoax or take advantage of the circumstances to catapult the numbers out of your networks? Obsessed with consolidating her influencer status, she opts for the second alternative, promoting her image on top of an invented survival experience. Sometimes hasty in resolving the arcs of the narrative, the satire makes a somewhat empty but shrewd denunciation of a culture of exploration of trauma.

Despite the commonplaces that cross Shephard’s vision regarding the contradictions of our time, what is perhaps most refreshing in the production is the promise announced by the protagonist herself at the beginning of the plot: there is no arc of redemption for Danni. In fact, if the viewer is almost seduced by a principle of sensitivity that seems to be gradually cultivated by Deutch’s character, she quickly brings us back to the initial antipathy with new evidence of her absurd ambitions and convictions. Danni’s immersive experience with sudden fame quickly confirms that in the internet world there is no forgiveness.

Uninterested in happy endings, Shephard seems more concerned with proposing a hyperbolic portrait of contemporary society and does so in detail, as in the occasional dose of antidepressants taken by the protagonist numb by her own ignorance. Although without actually delving into the subjectivity of the character or into most of the serious issues raised throughout the film, the hypothesis launched by the director herself is confirmed: Danni is nothing more than a privileged white woman who thinks she is the main character of the film. plot, which unfolds revealing other characters with perhaps more “true” traumas, as is the case of the teenager Rowan (Mia Isaac).

With excellent work by Mia Isaac and Zoey Deutch – who is also responsible for the production of the feature – and good insights typical of a legitimate product of its time, Lie influencer distinguishes itself from some of its peers in the subgenre of “social network films” for its acid lightness and rightly leaves open fundamental debates of a bittersweet pessimism for current generations.

Lie influencer

Not Okay

Lie influencer

Not Okay

Direction: Quinn Shephard

Road map: Quinn Shephard

Cast: Dylan O’Brien, Zoey Deutch

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