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‘Sick of Myself’ (2022) review: Listen to me, please

From Norway comes a film that is difficult to describe: Sick of Myself it is at times a dark comedy, a drama, a portrait of sick obsession or a subtle approach to today’s society based on the notion of doing whatever it takes to get noticed in the world of networks. Sick of Myself opens in cinemas on March 10.

If something forceful, solid and unquestionable we can say of Sick of Myself it’s just that sometimes you don’t really know what kind of film you’re watching. Be careful, you do know, of course, which plot you are following (no, it is not a bizarre filmic exercise: the story is clear, entertaining and has its commercial point). But you don’t really know what he’s playing. And in its ambiguity lies its charm: you want to follow along to know that we are actually playing.

Signe, a young Norwegian, witnesses a violent accident in the cafe where she works. The interest shown by a few in seeing her covered in blood arouses an obsession to repeat the experience. He decides to try a Russian drug that has left horrible marks on the skin of many young people.

Sick of Myself (01)

The premise already leaves one out of place. Well, here begins this curious journey. Signe indeed (no spoilers, of course) decides to buy these drugs to suffer these horrible effects and get people to pay attention to him. As simple as that. The chicha comes in com Sick of Myself he peels the faces of his salad of intentions. And he does it as a kind of polyhedral figure. At times it seems to tread on comedy, at others it approaches drama, the criticism of today’s society is unquestionable and, without a doubt, many times it looks like a horror film.

Sick of Myself (02)

Christopher Borgli, director and author of the libretto, opts for this zigzagging narrative that gives the film a particular dreamlike aspect. The physical evolution of Signe, which effectively achieves its first purpose (getting sick), opens the tonal veil of Sick of Myself when he doesn’t completely get the second one (that they pay attention to him). Borgli, who at this point does not hide his criticism of how we have sold our image to what they will say on social networks, scores the ultimate goal when we don’t even know if what we see is real or not. And it is that Signe, of course, imagines everything that his sick mind desires: an infinite case, to cause grief and to arouse admiration in equal parts. I in the collision with reality lies the definitive sopapodirect to our seats, of such a particular film of Norwegian origin.

This point of almost terror, especially when the disease progresses to levels where the comedy ends and you start to get nervous, is framed by a remarkably cold and distant film (we don’t miss this weepy dramatic point that should be an American film and not a Scandinavian one). Kristine Kujath Thorpthat gives life to Signe, is the first and last reason that explains why Sick of Myself it manages to work despite the tonal mix: no one in his environment, and of course in the cinema audience, would anticipate that he is capable of getting the attention he so longs for. But what’s scary is that Sick of Myselfand Signe, feel terrifyingly real.

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