Nerve would have been the perfect dissertation on post 2010 online culture, had it been so obliged to be morally correct.
High school senior Vee gets drawn into a popular online game called Nerve, after seeing her friend Sydney gets rich and popular from playing it. Under Nerve’s system, Vee has to record herself performing various dares issued, successful completion for which she would be financially rewarded. While struggling through her first dare, Vee meets Ian, another Nerve player, and goes on a heady adventure with him throughout NYC. As Vee’s popularity skyrockets, the darker side of Nerve emerges. To begin with, Ian might not be who he claims to be.
A while ago, I told my mother stories of people sharing videos of themselves snuffing animals online.
To my surprise, Mom knew about these and she firmly insisted that these twisted ones were only doing such horrible acts for money. To avoid arguing with her, I mostly agree, though in my heart, I lamented how the real reason for such atrocities is probably the craving for momentary glory.
Fleeting glory, as in that thirst for the unbelievable euphoria one experiences when the entire world seems captivated. A euphoria that fools one into believing, even if for just a second, one is unmatched in the eyes of the whole human race. Or maybe even the universe.
Well, Nerve puts the reason behind such acts and other daredevil stunts as monetary motivation. What’s smart about the storyline is how it subsequently reveals that money is but the façade, with the real motivators behind everything being indulgence and fame.
To facilitate the narration, a lot of other Internet myths and perceptions are woven in, but these largely do not hinder the story, which is on the whole deftly and energetically told.
What does pull Nerve down a notch, on the other hand, is the “socially responsible” sermon in the climax. I take it the producers were compelled to do so, probably to avoid controversy.
Still, for a movie to adopt such a harsh opinion about popular culture, and then hide under the greater misconception that things could end ******** **** *****, well, that makes Nerve somewhat too unrealistic for comfort. A little too much of the neon-lit wonderland the bulk of the movie takes place in.
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