Ingrid Goes West

Verdict: 
A darkly-comic social media cautionary tale that you just can't take your eyes off
Release Date: 
Friday, November 17, 2017
Written by: 

Aubrey Plaza portrays a social media stalker, who takes her fascination with the filter-covered lives of Instagram 'celebs' to unsettling and obsessive levels

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Apart from The Social Network, which was more focused on the rise of Facebook, and last year's gimmicky Skype-centric horror flick Unfriended,  there aren't many films dedicated to our dependency and addiction to social media despite it taking up large portions of most of our time and energy.

Step forward Ingrid Goes West, a darkly comedic satire of our addiction to broadcast our lives on Instagram for the 'likes' of friends and strangers.

Our titular 'hero' Ingrid (Aubrey Plaza) suffers from mental health issues which make her obsess over the seemingly-perfect lives of Instagram bloggers.

After leaving the psychiatric institution for her previous social media episode, she discovers Taylor Sloane (Elizabeth Olsen) as the next subject of her unhealthy attention and decides to head to Venice Beach to track down Taylor in the hopes of becoming her friend and enjoying the type of lifestyle that Ingrid craves.

Once in California, Ingrid attempts reinvents herself and manages (thanks to a bit of dog-napping) to enter Taylor's life, and despite faking almost everything about herself, the pair turn into firm friends.

As her obsession with Taylor starts to unravel, Ingrid desperately and misguidedly resorts to extreme (sometimes criminal) lengths to stay in Taylor's life.

Aubrey Plaza delivers a pitch-perfect portrayal as the social media-obsessed stalker, who, despite her many dishonest actions and repeated manipulation of her good-natured neighbour/landlord Dan, you can't help but root for her in the hope that everything turns out alright for her in the end.

Plaza is ably backed up by the excellent cast in Elizabeth Olsen, O'Shea Jackson Jr. as Ingrid's good-hearted landlord/neighbour Dan and Billy Magnussen, who almost steals the show as Taylor's slightly-unhinged, drug addict brother Nicky.

In his feature-length debut, director and co-writer Matt Spicer, captures the sun-drenched, filter-covered world that our Instagram posts portray, while also cleverly using the lighting to make Ingrid's skin look pasty and unwell, while her hair is always a little messy - an onscreen reminder that she has never truly escaped that mentally-unstable, obsessive girl that we met at the beginning.

Ingrid Goes West provides a smart and comedic cautionary tale to the current social media-centred generation - whether the aspiring 'Instagram celebs' who broadcast their filter-covered entire lives, often revealing far too much personal info than they should or those who spend their free time staring at their feeds, liking every single brunch, sunset and #squadgoals group selfie.

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