The movie Nerve portrays a dystopian world of technology. It may be considered as science fiction but it doesnt tell about a future, impossible or a parallel world. The movie exactly tells the story of how the exact current technologies can result in evil.
The storyline of the movie is a good fit for Joseph Campbell’s storyline of hero’s journey. Protagonist of the movie Vee has a dull life and her family is not wealthy. Her dreams are far away from her achievements in her ordinary world.
One of her best friends Sydney who is more joyous and courageous has found out a new online game Nerve. She achieves some real world tasks defined by an online realtime audience and earns money and gain online reputation as she succeeds. At first Vee refuses to join the game just watches Sydney.
One day Sydney by the courage that she gained within the game she messes with Vee’s platonic love which throws Eve off balance. Vee becomes eager to try new things and take more risks. In this bit, with her incentive words Sydney is like a role model and a mentor for Vee.
When Vee tries the Nerve just for once she meets with another player named Ian. Even though Vee’s friend Tommy try to stop her Vee falls in love with Ian and continues to play the game with him. She crosses the threshold and starts her journey with no turning back.
In this special world of the game she becomes very successful and goes up in the leaderboard. This results with her best friend Sydney to become jealous of her. In the course of events Vee gains enemies and allies.
The course of the events bring Vee and Sydney face to face and the requirements of the game deadly. Step by step the tension built and conflicts started to arise. Vee accepts one last requirement to portray how things become silly and out of control and then quits the game.
But the game doesn’t quit Vee and take her as a slave. Vee wakes up in a container depot in a great crisis finds herself beeing threatened where the container symbolizes the Dragon’s Den in the Hero’s journey.
So with Ian and her friends they make a plan to shut down the game. She takes the law in her hand and returns back the game. Their plan seems to go bad but Vee resurrects and free everyone from the Nerve.
If we put aside how didactic the film becomes at the end it portrays really well the consequences of anonymity online. An anonymous crowd is defiant and more dangerous than a single anonymous person.
They don’t accept any responsibility of any crime however the crowd decides on the course of the game. This decision process is called to be democratic but results in fatal actions. So the film criticizes whether the decision of majority is always true. When a watchers true identity is exposed, the watcher becomes a minority and hypocrisy arises.
Anonymity is symbolized with props like scarves and Guy Fawkes masks hiding people’s faces. The decision process being virtual with a mobile app shows also how democracy is just an illusion. In the film democracy is literally a game.
The film has a fast pace supported by reckless moves and exciting actions. The sound and music is hand in hand with this fast pace. Scenes are mostly dark, takes place at night but vivid in color both symbolizing danger and virtuality. Scenes are in fact like from a high quality video game. Overlays of buttons, text messages and social media notifications fill the screen for most of the time.
Nerve doesn’t portray a totally new concept but rather in a different way. To make the film popular among youth it feels like that the story is specially constructed for the purpose. However it is consistent with the age range of the characters that may participate in such a game. So for an audience of youth this may be just an entertaining film but an attentive audience may find more.