Genre: neo-noir techno-thriller adventure
Running Time: 96 minutes
Director: Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost
Cast: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Juliette Lewis
Nerve shows that the Internet and Smartphones can be a really dark area, in a thrilling and visually stimulating way.
Nerve reflects the society we live in today, where the internet and smartphones consume our life, like it is an addictive drug. Nerve is very self-aware when it comes to these issues and uses them in an original and interesting way, influencing the film entirely.
The plot is well influenced by this self-awareness, as we follow Venus or Vee (Emma Roberts) and Ian (Dave Franco) through an Internet game of truth or dare minus the truth, where you sign up to the game as a watcher or a player. As a player you are dared by watchers to complete a dare to receive a cash incentive, if you fail or don’t accept the challenge, its game over. The narrative taps into the peer pressure of teenagers and the influence of the Internet on today’s society. As players in Nerve, the aim of the player is to have the most viewers watching you in order to progress through to the finals and win the game. Reflecting the ideas of popularity and being “internet famous” that is much apart of the Internet culture that we live in.
The way in which Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost have structured and shot the film suits its main themes and influences. This is evident as the film opens in a very topical way, as we enter the film through the entering of a password on Vee’s computer. This isn’t the only time in the film where the directors directly acknowledge the technology influence/theme of the film, as a majority of the camera shots in the film feel like they are being taken straight from a smartphone camera roll or from a webcam and its visually appealing and suits the film perfectly. These camera shots, complemented by flawless editing add to the action sequences, making fast paced and visually interesting scenes.
The graphics also play a part in the aesthetic feel of the film and enhancing the viewing experience. At the beginning of Vee’s introduction to being a player in Nerve, her username is displayed over a establishing shot of New York, which shows other players in the game. When she meets Ian and begins doing dares with him their usernames are linked time and time again in shots of the New York skyline. It’s this smart use of graphics that really adds to the feeling that we are also watchers in this game without even knowing it.
Nerve also has an underlining lesson for us as we watch it and it’s a very strong lesson as well. At the beginning of Vee’s game and towards the tricky end of the game it shows how accessible we are when we put data on the Internet and that this data can be accessed by anyone on the Internet. Everything we like on Facebook, Google search and buy online is accessible. This provides a grim reality of the world we currently live in and how accessible it is to get information with the click of a button.
Nerve is an entertaining, visually appealing and educating film, with a direct reflection of what our everyday lives have become. Through the use of alternative camera work, interesting storyline and a little lesson it creates a wonderfully crafted film that offers plenty of reflection upon leaving the cinema. Nerve is a step in a new direction of noir films of today; taking into account the ideas and concerns about technology and uses them to entertain, shock and thrill us from start to finish.
The Front Row Opinion