Monday, June 5, 2017

Short Film Review: Justin Bieber Role Play Harem

Identity is something we take for granted in our everyday lives. However, when these lives do not belong to regular individuals but celebrities adorned and/or despised by millions around the globe, the same identity is slowly but surely becoming somewhat of a public domain. This way, a celebrity becomes not only the human being of flesh and blood, but also an idea in itself, which has now, thanks to the internet and social media, available to everyone.

In this strange and uncrated domain is where the new film Justin Bieber Role Play Harem dives into. A social media account representing the famous Canadian pop star begins a series of relationships with other equally famous accounts, leading to tales of love, despair, exhilaration, lust and jealousy. As the film shows a series of short clips of these celebrities and the Instagram accounts that represent them, the atmosphere it builds is generated quickly and effectively, even though it doesn’t definitively show what is going on.

With no spoken words and all verbal ideas transmitted using Instagram comments, the director of the film, Sohaila Rahimi, uses images and camera movements that are almost nausea-inducing to tell this strange tale. As the film progresses, the audience struggles to keep track of the forming and imploding relationships, as the beautiful images of the celebrities fly over the screen. The minds of the viewers will be thrown into a spiraling state where they both realize this cannot be true and still continue to wonder could it be, as if some huge scandal somehow managed to elude us.
As this unnerving dance continues till the very end, I was left with a sense that no matter how this narrative approach might seem weird, I was able to become immersed in it fully. It must be that my brain is already used to process so much information using social media snippets and short exposures that a film like Justin Bieber Role Play Harem came to me completely naturally.

Some might feel a dread because of this idea, but I don’t reject it. The world is changing and so are we along with it. This film simply manages to capture a small part of it, like a snapshot of a sprout before it bursts out of the seed’s shell. It does the same it a marvelous way.

Check it out the full short film right here:

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