Nov 9, 2010

Chatroom, 2010

Chatroom, 2010
Director: Hideo Nakata
Cast: Aaron Johnson, Imogen Poots, Matthew Beard

Stage: home laptop set, right after Social Network

Chatroom in short: When jaded teens Jim, Eva, Emily and Mo meet William online, they're seduced by his charisma. But William isn't what he seems. He's calculating and manipulative and doesn't have time for people in the real world. Jim is vulnerable and he has no idea how dangerous his new friendship with William will be. When Jim confesses he's on anti-depressants, William knows he's found a victim. He vows to help Jim off his drugs, and the rest of the group fall in line. Fantasy meets reality when William and Jim are face to face in rush hour on the underground. Without the faceless security of the online world, everything becomes real. It's now a race against time to save Jim, but the clock is ticking... and we fear someone must die.

Preps: I know it's a complementary movie /the movie whose topic goes hand in hand with the notorious The Social Network about Facebook. The implication of a chatroom feels I will explore something deeper than a portal like FB, Flickr, etc. I am deeply interested in the topic, hence high expectations.

Reality: The movie drags me into the mystery world of chatrooms - fully developed "irl", the way you can really imagine things going on there. Second life, per se. I am sure it looks similar to the real users. As I am not an user of a chatroom and seldom go to similar places, it's a truly interesting insight. The input/output; the things that get to be discussed there, virtually beyond any borders possible - well, just the philosophy and me thinking about this is purely enough to satisfy my curious genes.

The story revolves around one individual with a mission to destroy. Seek for ones that are weak and destroy them. In the process, get the others on your side and make them help you. Even though the main story is superb, in my opinion it doesn't go too deep into the mind of each participant in the chatroom. The shortness of the movie could be easily replaced or upgraded with a deeper insight into the life stories of the five people in this perticular chatroom.

The problems that lead people to use chatrooms as the means to escape real life, are definitely taken out of reality. The vivid shows of suicides are something that will move even the toughest person.. the cold approach or the cold soul that may evolve in process of ewoking your other self in the virtual reality, can be devastating. You could be easily living the life of your other - virtual self. The movie implies as many before it in this period (Avatar for sure being one of them).. that the life you get to design can be so appealing you may never want to leave it. Or you may choose to live that one instead of your own. Because in the virtual world you can be whoever you choose to be and present yourself for any living cell in the world.

The movie will dazzle you with the idea.. and make you terrified with the feeling or fear - what if this happened to me also?

My personal rating: 7,0 (the power of social media is impressive. A brilliant show to what it may lead. Lacks a bit of dynamics inbetween, nevertheless, a true masterpiece to stand besides The Social Media)

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