Film… musing: Chatroom

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I wasn’t sure what else I was going to include on this blog, but I think I’ve decided to include things such as books and films that I come across that I enjoy (or thoroughly dislike).

I reactivated my Netflix account (though I will most likely get rid of it again after this month). I wasn’t sure what to put first on my queue because I was doing the one DVD at a time, unlimited in a month deal. I scrolled down the long list I had and saw that a movie I was waiting for release on DVD was FINALLY available.

It is called Chatroom. The main reason I wanted to watch it was because one of my favorite characters from Skins, Hannah Murray who plays Cassy, is in it. I do this often. I find an actor or actress whom I really like a movie of and watch most of their other movies when available. Some examples I can give are Patrick Fugit and Andrew Garfield (my first movie I saw him in was Boy A. Amazing. The second was Never Let Me Go. Always great).

I really had no idea what I was in for with this movie. I mean it is advertised as a teen thriller/drama thriller, but that could mean anything, especially with British films (I LOVE British films).

Some background:

-This is the summary on IMDB: A group of teenagers encourage each other’s bad behavior.

It is really so much more than that.

Chatroom is based off of a stage play by the same name written by Enda Walsh. It was first premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in 2010. It is directed by Hideo Nakata who directed Ringu and Dark Water.

It opens with the main character, Will – played by Aaron Johnson*,  walking down a bright blue/teal hallway with numerous yellow doors with red spray paint graffiti writing on them. You realize that this is the physical manifestation of the internet/chatrooms. I really like this idea, actually physically showing cyberspace. He walks to an empty room and starts his own chat room for Chelsea Teens and is joined by 4 other teenagers.

You see each of the teenagers join the brightly colored room one at a time. The camera switches to them in real life. The colors are muted and they each look slightly less put together in real life than they do in their online personalities.

Eva, played by Imogen Poots, is a skinny privileged girl working as a teen model. You learn throughout the movie that she has another side to her which she realizes is more substantial than her snooty side.

Jim, Matthew Beard, is quiet. You learn more and more about his past and life throughout the movie has he becomes the object of William’s psycho terror in the world of the internet.

Emily, Hannah Murray, you find is forced into young political discussions and is brought up in a proper way by her parents who just never really pay attention to her until she takes William’s advice and creates chaos in their perfect world. I love that her character is definitely different in this movie than flighty Cassy in Skins, though they do both have the common characteristics of loyalty.

and finally there is Mo, Daniel Kaluuya, who is in love with his best friend’s younger sister.

Throughout the movie you delve deeper and deeper into the individual character’s backgrounds, families, and personalities. William uses what he learns to effect the characters, mainly Jim, in a psychological way and eventually you realize, he is attempting to get Jim to commit suicide. The other characters realize this and embark on a quick adventure to stop Will’s actions.

There really is much more to it than that. I started to feel something for the characters. The director and the actors did a great job at getting you, the viewer, involved in the story. I definitely was screaming at my computer by the end. There are surprises along the way and it really opens you up to the reality of what types of chatrooms are really out there.

This review isn’t very nice. But I feel like it was written by someone who likes obscure movies that make absolutely no sense to someone who isn’t a studied film-geek… I take that back the reviewer hasn’t even seen the directors original Japaneses versions of the Ring and Ring 2… so yeah.. go him. I’ve even seen them.

Whatever. I think the ‘thriller’ aspect of it comes when you think about how the internet isn’t just Facebook and memes. There are chatrooms out there such as this. There are people out there, such as this and often they aren’t caught.

Maybe it’s just me. Go watch it and create your own opinion.

Photo by Hideo Nakata – © Kerry Brown

*Woah. Didn’t know he was engaged to an older woman. Cougar Hunter right there.



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