Directed By: Henry Alex Rubin
Written By: Andrew Stern
People struggle to connect using modern technology. An up and coming reporter hopes her interview with an underage chat room worker will be her big break. A teenager faces the consequences of cyber bullying. A couple who recently lost their child struggle after their identities are stolen online. A father who lives his life on the phone deals with the reality of his sons’ situation.
Considering that, the world is not as it was a decade ago with social networks and cell phones and the over use of technology to the point that underage cyber-sex sites are a huge problem just like cyber bullying. The fact that this movie addresses this in such a profound way to tie in many different lives was amazing. This movie was beautiful in its own way because it tapped into what it means to be human. Look at the poster, it says, “look up” and it means to look up from the screens and look at the world, the human beings and everything that is in it. Jason Bateman plays a father who is wrapped up by his phone as a lawyer and is unable, or rather chooses, to see the pain that his son is obviously in. A social outcast with no friends who wants to live in his music, wrapped up in his headphones. Being a pariah has made him the target for bullies, in particular a cop’s son who feels the blame of his mother’s death by his father who deals in cybercrimes. Every story has its own relation to technology and how blinded them from reality, while at the same time, making each individual story line intermingle with the others.
The story was thought out and well put together, even if the characters weren’t all together likable at times. The wife who is trying so desperately to move past her sadness flees to an online support group instead of talking to her husband. But how can she force him to share anything with her when he feels like his life is in a rut and she is trying to make things better by having another child, in her own way she is shutting him out and I didn’t like her. However, her husband, as much as you want to feel bad for his character, he is so driven to live in his own little world that he leaves his wife no alternative. It is upsetting and sad, but the characters are human and the movie portrays that accurately and perfectly. No one is 100% likable, everyone has their faults but in this movie, their humanity is strongest when they disconnect from the technology and she the world, the reality of the situation. This movie was so profound to address in such an artistic and realistic way the troubles that are now plaguing society. Wonderful and heart wrenching. ★★★★ (A+)