Share? movie review & film summary (2023)
Movie Reviews

Share? movie review & film summary (2023)

There’s a little more to this sketchy sci-fi parable, all about a wary cipher, #000000014 (Melvin Gregg), who learns how to not only survive, but maybe even game his prison’s live-streaming camera network, which connects imprisoned users through their respective computer monitors. But only a little. “Share?” ostensibly has a dark sense of humor, too, yet even its jokes point a lazy finger at viewers.

“Share?” is only 70+ minutes long, and it shows. We see the movie’s world through the unblinking eye of #000000014’s computer monitor, the one he also uses to broadcast a live video stream from inside his grey brutalist cell. Why is he there, and who’s keeping him? That’s an irrelevant mystery, according to co-writer/director Ira Rosensweig and co-writer Benjamin Sutor. Rather, we’re supposed to focus on the patternmaking logic that leads #000000014 to figure out how to get attention from unseen viewers and earn points that he can convert into amenities, like food, clothes, or an inflatable mattress. #000000014 spends a lot of time peering into and through the camera frame since it’s presented as a monitor. His computer seems pretty basic, given frequent prompts like “Share?” and “Good food?” It’s almost as if social media and technology only grant its users’ limited agency, maaan.

Eventually, #000000014 starts to use his screen time to watch other prisoners, even though that may not be his decision. He learns to get new followers and more points from #006395873 (Bradley Whitford), an agitated paranoiac. #000000014 also becomes enamored with #038491828 (Danielle Campbell), a fount of new age wisdom and self-styled meditation instructor. Also, #052605011 (Alice Braga) is there mostly to provide skeptical commentary and emotional support for #000000014, whose personality is limited by his circumstances.

Gregg’s character makes the plot move since he’s popular among the prisoners. He eventually commands an audience thanks to #006395873’s sense of presentation/showmanship and #052605011’s social justice-minded conscience. It’s often hard to tell if #000000014 likes anything other than watching #038491828, and even that’s a heavily implied assumption. (Wow, look at her form-fitting yoga outfit.) That sort of behavior might have been productively ambiguous in a movie where the characters are more than sandwich boards for talking points that clash or build on each other. Unfortunately, opacity speaks for itself throughout “Share?” 

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