A movie about a digital game in the real world that gets really out of hand. Kind of like global peer pressure that no one can stop.
Got Nerve? Dare you to watch it!
Now that “Augmented Reality” is in everybody’s mind (thanks, Pokémon GO!), we can have a good understanding of how social media and online games can get entangled into real life. In ‘Nerve’ protagonist Venus ‘Vee’ Delmonico, a creative girl in her senior year of high school, pressures herself into participating in a game of digital “truth or dare”, in order to shut up her limelight-hog friend. The game is full of dares only though, which are broadcasted live to the internet with viewers paying the “stars” to do those activities and deciding what these are.
In this weird social media game turned reality show, the financial “rewards” for the challenges rise with time and so does the danger that comes with them, to the point when the players try to bail – but can’t.
Thrilling, funny, romantic but not cheesy – great combination.
Spoilers ahead! Go watch the movie and come back.
On the one side we have the lighter side of the plot: the protagonist is in high school and so confronted with the age’s problems. Vee’s so called “friend” shames her for being shy and pressures her into playing a game; she wants to go to art school but her mother raises her alone and probably can’t afford to pay for it; she then gets a scholarship but is thinking of declining it, because she doesn’t want to leave her mother alone, who is still mourning Vee’s late brother. Normal teen stuff, you know.
On the other side, the movie also raises contemporary questions, such as who do you turn to, when something can’t be brought to the authorities, because it leaves no verifiable trace? How do you escape the pressure of someone, who has ALL your online data and can access your bank account? And what happens when the world can’t take anything seriously anymore and doesn’t realise the harm it’s doing for the sake of entertainment?
I watched the film in the theatre on a sneak peek, so I was very lucky to watch such a thrilling movie that made me (almost) scream on one second and laugh loudly the next. But it also meant that I watched it in German even though I always try to watch movies from the US in English. And now that I re-watch the trailer and hear Dave Franco’s voice, I’m glad I watched it in German! However, I still recommend it, in whatever language you want – go watch ‘Nerve’! Even if just to see ‘Orange Is The New Black’-actresses Samira Wiley and Kimiko Glenn play the roles of a hacker and a high-schooler respectively (in contrast to their roles in the Netflix-show, the adorable inmate-couple Poussey and Soso).
Production: Allison Shearmur Productions, Keep Your Head, Lionsgate, Supermarché.
Directed by: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman
Have you watched this movie? Did you enjoy it? Leave us a comment!