11 Apr 2022
Martina Kaura, Nicholas Kulesa, Ivy Munnerlyn, Michelle Nichols
A young woman becomes an online sensation and finds fame and trouble.
Vada (Kaura) has just finished college and does not know how to proceed. She has been rejected by the universities she applied to and is unable to find a decent job. As one of her hobbies includes making videos and posting them online, she decides to turn that into a career. She manages to be a successful YouTuber, however her actions ends up negatively affecting her social life and turning her into a ruthless, inconsiderate person.
Filmed almost entirely through webcams, this intriguing drama provides an informative insight into
the power of the internet and social media by showing how these two can influence people and what the life of a YouTuber is like. The narratives focuses on a lonely and depressed individual, who initially creates and uploads videos of her everyday experiences as way to escape her unhappy life. Believing that she has hit a brick wall, she turns to becoming an online celebrity, hoping for the best. This turns out to have positive and negative consequences. She gains more and more followers and begins a romantic relationship, but also starts a confrontation with another well-known YouTuber, leading to further misfortunes.
The story explores many negative things that are associated with online socialising in today's world. It reveals people's obsession with fame and how the internet can help them achieve that but also how it can ruin their life. The screenplay shows how the internet can be utilised to humiliate people, how one can become utterly dependent on social media and suggests that videos that show people going through bad experiences tend to receive a lot of attention.
As the main character, Kaura leads the film well as a social media personality whose popularity keeps on rising. At first, she is a sad person, who self-harms, takes antidepressants, sees a therapist and lives with her stepmother with whom she has a troubled relationship. After finding success through her online activities, she becomes more confident, changes her appearance, but also turns vengeful and cunning. Kaura portrays the changes that her character goes through very well and Kulesa is great in his role as her supportive partner, who however does not embrace social media as much as she does.
Watching this feature is like viewing social media. Vada is constantly seen filming herself and others and looking into the camera, talking about how she feels and what she is doing. Texts often appear on screen, added by her, explaining what is going on and occasionally the number of her followers is revealed, which keeps on rising. The film is separated into chapters, each one with its own title.
The soundtrack contains many amusing songs and makes extensive use of The Devil's Trill Violin Sonata in G minor by Giuseppe Tartini. Geiger also worked on the editing and develops good techniques involving superimposition.
This is a story about the dominance that social media can have over people and how easy it is for someone to use them to humiliate others. It explores the path to becoming an online celebrity, which is a career many pursue in today's world and points out what is good and what is bad about that line of work. With her first feature film, Geiger has created a movie that paints a realistic image regarding mental health, self-harm and the impact of social media.