The Internet has become the greatest allied to modern society, a window to the world that serves as a source of information, a place to spend time, and meet people, refugee for personal issues and also in such a consumerist era, it became man’s best friend.
But as it is as useful and necessary now-a-days, the electronic device can also represent harm and danger, especially when most of the problems in current society, are consequences of a turmoil routine of urban activities.
One must be strong enough and prepared for the worse, to understand and appreciate the content in this intense drama, and allow oneself to a disturbing story that breaks the heart and devastate with its emotional depth. In director Henry Alex Rubin’s scenario, his first fictional effort after two documentaries, the Internet is the villain ready to shatter the characters, initially dealing with relations built online. Although the film’s title talks its message for itself, the director is aware of the reliability and importance of Technology, allowing Andrew Stern’s screenplay to balance good and evil, and to also represent it as a form of gathering an optimistic point of view out of all the hopelessly souls facing their dilemmas. Rubin depicts each character’s suffering, struggle and anguish, proving that the simple act of touching the computer’s screen have created a storm above their roofs but can also help through the process of healing or at least, accept the position they chose and where they stand at.
Narrated through intertwined stories that ultimately collides together, the film introduces the audience to the most intimate emotions and desires of its characters, collecting a sudden compassion for them: a kid dealing with his father’s absence although sharing the same house, a young couple mourning their baby’s death and caught up in a credit card scheme that sweeps out their financial savings, a shy boy seduced and trapped into a devilish joke, and an ambitious journalist who persuades a cyber-prostitute teenager to report his underground story, attempting to score a higher level of success.
Rubin proves competence with the material, using an interesting balance of tension and melodrama, causing anxiety, and a harsh meditation on all our modern habits. The cast is also incredible, perfect in their roles, especially the young boys, Jonah Bobo as the aspiring musician, Colin Ford as the son who describes living with his ex-cop dad as “like living in jail” and Max Thieriot as the irresistible and handsome lonely boy who sells himself and craves for shelter. Alexander Skarsgard and Paula Patton give their finest performance to date, as the mourning couple.
Definitely one of this year’s best films, a shocking family tale, that points the lack of values, recommended for strong audiences only.