An unbalanced, overly conservative look at the dangers of the internet from filmmaker Beeban Kidron
Beeban Kidron (Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason) explores the specious nature of the internet and the potentially harmful effects it can have upon young minds in her latest offering, InRealLife. It’s an interesting choice of subject matter, let down by an overuse of archetypal scenarios that outweigh moments of relevance.
InRealLife immediately feels like a film designed to reaffirm conservative opinions of the internet, clearly shown by its obvious choice of case studies: a laddish teen obsessed with pornography who smokes, stays up late and chats up girls on the subway; a studious boy who had his university career ruined by the sci-fi video game Halo; and a young gay couple who have conducted their entire relationship through social media. These depictions serve to build an overly simplistic picture – one where today’s youth are being turned into a bunch of misogynistic, lazy, unsociable monsters at the hands of the devilish internet.
In between there are interviews with academics, yet hardly anything is said about, say, the educational potential of the internet. There are some thought-provoking elements (one fascinating debate looks at the challenge to security in the infinite world of ‘the cloud’) but InRealLife ultimately comes across as an unremarkable film. A more balanced, less neurotic viewpoint would have made it a far more powerful documentary.
Limited release from Fri 20 Sep.