Zola

Zola ★★★

Janicza Bravo’s eye for critiquing the effects of social media is thoroughly shown in the film’s visual flair alone, providing for an experience that is structurally unconventional. It isn’t a fictionalization and, in fact, feels entirely raw. It may be based on a Twitter thread yet the writers were able to come up with a straightforward, if ultimately jarring, storyline filled with flashy excitement and promising authenticity. On the surface it’s flashily striking and colorfully exaggerated yet underneath there’s an aggravatingly empowering proposition that the film carries out surrounding the pure nature that follows strip culture. Whether it’s the religious undertones, physical mastery, or chaos revolving the internet world, the audience is given an intimately painted image of both the pain and benefit from serving in this field. The issue here is the formatting of the material, which, technically, doesn’t result in a clear ending. It’s certainly “out there” and an otherwise unique way to comment on the impact that social media can have, yet it fundamentally feels unsatisfying.

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