‘Like Me’ Review: Addison Timlin is a Psychopath for the Viral Media Age — SXSW 2017 Review

IndieWire | 3/16/2017 | Eric Kohn
Click For Photo: http://www.indiewire.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/03/likeme.jpg?w=780

There may be no idea more contemporary than a demented character using the internet in the reckless pursuit of fame. Writer-director Rob Mockler’s debut, “Like Me,” distills that motif to a ferocious young woman so compelled to create online sensations that they drive her insane. It’s an obvious conceit and doesn’t offer new insights, but Mockler transforms the material into a solid thriller with an edgy vision of millennial lunacy, sketching out a psychopath unique to the viral video age.

That would be Kiya (Addison Timlin), a mysterious prankster first seen recording a convenience store clerk late at night as she puts a gun to his head and he begs for his life. The video instantly takes off, generating heated debates across the web and Mockler’s stylish montage captures the overlapping conversations with a knack for featuring the disorienting chaos of modern discourse.

Kiya - Mayhem - Move - Backstory - Symbol

Meanwhile, Kiya watches the mayhem and plots her next move. With no precise backstory, she’s a symbol of youth rebellion — decked out in torn jeans and dark jackets with shadowy black hair atop a piercing gaze, she’s Lisbeth Salander with a YouTube fetish.

“Like Me” falls in line with contemporary tech-thrillers like “King Kelly” and “Nerve,” in which young people exploit digital tools to fixate on the dangerous extremes of exhibitionism. Kiya’s a fascinating entry in part because she has no purpose other than her relentless quest to capture bizarre events and share them with the world. Taking a homeless man to a diner, she toys with her food to a grotesque degree, and it’s unclear what will happen next.

Behavior - Embodiment - Mind - Online - Antics

While her peculiar behavior is a reasonable embodiment of a mind reared on random online antics, “Like Me” initially seems like a high concept in search of a movie. Kiya’s intriguing but not particularly substantial. We learn nothing about what...
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