[CRITICAL] NERVE

Vee is a high school girl discreet that has never really been able to “let go” in life. Decided to change and may not remain in the shadow of her best friend (the very uninhibited Sidney), Vee is registered on Nerve, an online game that lasts the time of a day. With their phone, the “voyeurs” watch the game and challenge themselves to “players” which, if successful, win the money. A simple “kiss a stranger “for $ 100 to” pass under a train ” for $ 15,000, the game quickly takes a dangerous turn.

At first glance, NERVE, adapted from the novel of Addict Joan Ryana, has any film of american entertainment for teenager. And yet, by his manner of anchoring perfectly into our time and apply directly to the new generation, the film proves to be interesting. We remember We Are Your Friends , who, in spite of promises of a film of generational turn around of the search for success and a form of recognition, under the background of electronic music, was actually quite mediocre and without ambition.

Where NERVE stands out, is that its realization is, however, reflected in relation to the topics discussed. A staging that highlights the personality and obsessions of the filmmakers, Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman, with a real critical eye on the company – they have recently made for Vogue the short film Australian Psycho with Margot Robbie. The two directors, who are used to working together (Paranormal Activity 3 and 4, but also Viral, there is still no release date in France), dealt with already in the power of social networks and possible manipulation related to the internet with the amazing documentary film Catfish. With NERVE, they manage to keep a personal vision of the world – virtual, as real –, to make a speech whose purpose is to awaken consciousness, without ending up drowned by their terms and conditions – here to mix romance in high school, and entertainment to the genre of the thriller.

This understanding of our time on the part of both filmmakers is seen as soon the sequence of introduction (and up to the end credits perfectly stylized). Vee turns on her computer and this is a first-person view (more popular) that we are following his actions, mouse in hand. Launch Spotify, open Gmail, go to Google Chrome… beyond a simple product placement, these applications enable the directors to make a sort of panel of which is now our daily life. It continues with a conversation on Skype, which offers a field-in contrast, not devoid of flaws, but in total keeping with what will follow. Moreover, it is no coincidence that this conversation system visual going on while Vee watches the life of a boy from his school on Facebook.

In the space of a few minutes, the film puts in place (with a few blunders, are given) a form of voyeurism and exhibitionism, become now natural. The game Nerve allows then to reveal the dangers and the character of unhealthy that may have these tools. Because behind the desire (or need) to be seen, they switch quickly to the desire to be recognized and to achieve a form of stardom, ephemeral and non-justified.

“By his way of anchoring himself perfectly into our time and apply directly to the new generation, the film proves to be interesting. “

While Vee, played by the very friendly Emma Roberts, lets kindly take the game with challenges without serious consequence, leading him to meet Ian (Dave Franco), are observed with dismayed the challenges submits her best friend Sydney. To be popular enough on the game and go to the final, it will dare everything without any shame or dignity. Motivated by the lure of easy gain, and this false form of celebrity (based on nothing !), the character of Sydney represents a generation of narcissistic influenced as much by reality television as Youtube or Instagram – with its famous ” Instafamous “.

Although spending most of the time by images from mobile phones (an immersion in the way of Project X), allowing directors to assume fully their vision, the latter to avoid wisely to do too much and risking to get sick and the spectator. Choices always relevant, a diving in the heart of the game fascinating, what makes us these participants, voyeurs.

Obviously NERVE don’t forget to mention through this phenomenon viral, the direct responsibility of the one who observes it. Because without “voyeur” (or follower) the system collapses. The game taking the turns more and more dangerous, leaving it up to the primary instincts and impulses of each person who, hidden behind a screen or a mask, is believed to protected and forget the actual consequences on the human NERVE will switch on the side of the thriller. If the film loses here in credibility and content of certain facilities (the magic of the hackers and the Deep web), it remains notable for its evocation of some of The Game (1997). In taking up this principle of play that degenerates, NERVE offers a rereading of the film of David Fincher in adapting to the time.

Of course, there is here a lack of finesse (as in the final sequence, with this speech given by Vee on the consequences and the responsibilities of all). But in managing to include within this entertainment film elements as the major of our time and to critique it, it is unpretentious thatHenry Joost and Ariel Schulman have managed to make NERVE good, honest, and a bit daring. Much more than we had hoped.

Stone Siclier

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