Just take a moment to think about how much time you spend on your smartphone. Think about how much of your week is spent on social media, scrolling through the endless amounts of selfies and filtered pictures.
Do you ever get envious or judge people based on what they post on social media? Wish that picture of you from Friday night got more likes on Facebook or that you had more followers on Instagram?
Well this is Ingrid cranked all the way to maximum and the poignant message in the dark comedy, Ingrid Goes West, is of how social media promotes an illusion of connectivity which is currently being cast on a generation in today’s society.
This movie comes so close to homing in on that warning but cops out right at the end when all of its good work comes undone and any caution about the perils of social media evaporate literally within the last 20 seconds of the film.
Ingrid is played by Aubrey Plaza who fits the role of the main character perfectly. The 33 year-old has come a long way in a short space of time since Parks and Recreation and here she plays an unstable social media stalker.
We get an understanding of just how media obsessive she is at the start when she pepper sprays her friend at her wedding for not inviting her only to discover that the bride wasn’t a friend but had once commented on one of Ingrid’s Instagram posts.
After recovering from that episode, Ingrid then decides to move to LA to track down Instagram expert, Taylor (Elizabeth Olsen), who she had come across and begins to fixate upon.
Through a series of creepy acts, she tricks Taylor into befriending her and the pair begin spending time together before it all falls apart when Ingrid’s dark secrets are revealed.
None of the characters in the movie are particularly likeable and therefore make the film a rather uncomfortable experience all round. Just think how annoying it is being out with your friends when everyone is staring at their phones or taking selfies – now think how annoying that would be just to watch unfold.
The one aspect of relief is Dan (O’Shea Jackson Jr.), Ingrid’s landlord in LA and Batman fanatic who offers a number of laugh out loud moments to the proceedings and the only one who has any concept of reality.
The devastating twist at the end should have been where the movie ended and landed its knockout blow of a message. But where 99% of the film is about the dangers of social media obsession, the remaining 1% is the closing sequence to the film that completely obliterates any positive message it was trying to promote. It ultimately lets down what is otherwise a poignant, contemporary movie.