akira’s review published on Letterboxd:
“What have you done to me?”
“Done to you? You’re the one in control.”
Such a delicious puzzle of a movie. So daring yet so restrained when it needs to be, so hypnotic and spiritual when it wants to be. I struggle to talk about this film because I’m still desperately trying to piece it together and figure out what exactly it’s trying to tell me. I think it will still take a couple more viewings to really get a firm grasp on everything that’s going on here but more than anything I think it’s just a reflection of the times and where we seem to be heading as humans. As in becoming less human by the second. Becoming someone else. Departing reality entirely in our minds while our bodies remain idle in the “real world.” Whatever that means anymore.
So much violence, so much confusion and coldness amongst corporations that seem to be more interested in transcending humanity than actually understanding it. I think many of us can relate to that kind of frustration. And we’re seeing the rapid evolution of technology right before our eyes from these billion dollar machines/companies and I genuinely fear that it may be our downfall as a species because while we may be able to accomplish incredible and unbelievable feats with our devices, we never seem to stop and question *if* we should do such things or why exactly we want to. Maybe we are slowly becoming zombies or robots or maybe we’re all just unhappy in our own skin, enough to make us step into someone else’s for a little while and still feel nothing in the end.
This movie very much feels like it’s dissecting the act of filmmaking itself and that’s something I’m always naturally drawn to especially with newer filmmakers. On the surface it’s VERY Inception-like in the way that the main character, Tasya, commits these crimes by planting ideas into powerful stranger’s heads through calculated narratives without questioning the consequences, then ultimately drowning in them when the truth of everyone’s pain and emptiness is revealed. There are no easy answers in the end and I love that so much. The imagery, the body horror, the vibrance of the manipulation is so endlessly compelling I couldn’t help craving even more of this world as horrifying as it was. Brandon Cronenberg really tapped into something special and timeless here while also feeling dangerously urgent in a world growing colder by the second.