Fame, in the times of social networks, the Internet and desperate influencers, lasts less and less. Art, which in the past could last for decades, is now just another ephemeral consumer product. We see every day to what extent people can prostitute their privacy in exchange for fame and, to put it this way, almost: it is a prison of self-esteem in which we all live locked up. And ‘Sick of myself’ is capable of encapsulating a unique feeling of the 21st century, between Instagram filters and doing everything in our power to achieve success. All.
Toxicity inside, bad vibes inside
It’s funny that Julie considered herself the worst person in the world in the movie of the same name, because Also coming from Norway comes someone willing to fight for the title. Only without being aware of his own emotional labyrinth. Signe is a woman who lives with her boyfriend, an artist who uses only stolen material for her works, and she just wants someone to notice her. Either way. One way or the other. And if you don’t get it by inventing diseases or ailments, then you will have to create them artificially.
‘Sick of myself’ is a black comedy like night that also takes the opportunity to reflect on today’s world thanks to a protagonist who should be the eternal center of attentioneven if it means faking allergies, illnesses or telling incredible stories that never happened: it is fascinating how someone with such a broken moral compass can become so overwhelmingly close to us. And it is that we all know a Signe, eternally involved in the loop of problems, which Ojete Calor defined with surgical precision as “Oh, how good, so bad.”
But, in addition, Kristoffer Borgli’s film is framed within a careful visual style that perfectly details a universe of its own between kitsch, the ostentation of the false upper class and the descent into the hells of fashion of the 21st century, in which we are willing to see the miseries around us… as long as these miseries are not repulsive to the eye. ‘Sick of myself’ knows exactly where to hit the punches so that no one leaves the room without feeling alluded to.
This is not a film for everyone: if you are looking for social and realistic cinema, this is not what you are looking for, closer to a parody of constant attention seeking by which a large percentage of the population survives (What are Instagram Stories or TikTok videos if not an attempt to capitalize on the spotlight and feel seen for a few seconds?). It is the caricature of the cartoon, but painted with a fine brush and who doesn’t mind emphasizing details to make it more believable.
You won’t like Signe. It is not intended to be the charismatic and empathetic protagonist with whom to go hand in hand for 95 minutes. What’s more: it encapsulates all the evils (and, in part, desires) of the contemporary world with an absolutely unseemly attitude and absent of any type of morality. It is pure narcissism disguised as misery. So much so that when the time comes to feel sorry for her, it becomes impossible.
The fictitious segments that Signe imagines in her head, in the purest ‘Scrubs’ style but with an extra component of derealization, are the way in which the film tries to make us understand that none of her actions come from evil, but from the need to be understood even by her own boyfriend. A couple as miserable as impossible in which nothing can end well. From the beginning, the heroes of this story are its own villains, who discover too late that their actions have consequences and that maybe the fame wasn’t so worth it after all.
We always imagine things better than they really are. We anticipate situations much more exciting than they will be in real life, no matter how much we prepare for it, as Nathan Fielder well showed in the incredible ‘Rehearsals’. Our protagonist thinks over and over again about the moment in which she has to tell the truth to her friend in so many different ways that reality ends up disappointing her once more.
‘Sick of myself’ tries to turn fiction into reality, take our obsession with social networks to the last instance and questioning both solidarity initiatives and the most classic canons of beauty. It’s as unpleasant and shrill a pot to watch as it is spot on in its humor and social commentary. Fascinating, yes, but too exaggerated for part of the public. If you are one of those who leaves the cinema looking for justifications for impossible attitudes, this is not your film, closer to cartoon than to reality.
Upload a video, take a photo, tweet, update, post, see what your friends are doing, they are all more successful than you. How are you going to be relevant in this world that demands something from you every day? What is the last thing you created? When are you going to go viral? ‘Sick of myself’ attacks that little voice that technology and social networks have put inside of us, and demonstrates the power of endorphins, self-suggestion and the consequences of ephemeral fame for which we all think we are prepared (but it is not). TRUE). An excessive, absurd, black and basic film so that in the future they understand what the hell happened to us in this decade.