Film Review: Social Distancing 电子灵 (2023) Hong Kong 🇭🇰
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia 🇦🇺)
Inspired by the recent tragic and horrific South Korean - cyber crimes known as the “Nth rooms”, “Social Distancing” directed by Gilitte Leung (“Love Me Not”) goes for that route, but ends up trying to cross too many genres from mystery to murders to crimes to horror and eventually ends up no where. The storyline is so hard to follow with plenty of plot holes and inconsistencies making this Hong Kong film set during the pandemic, a rather difficult watch.
The film follows the story from Gladys Li’s perspective, an aspiring YouTube who wants more viewers to her struggling channel. In South Korea, she befriends a fellow Hong Konger played by Jeana Ho who wants to become an actress. However, Ho get intertwined in the “Nth” case and is sexually assaulted on video that became shared widespread across the web. Ho kills herself on social media and everyone bad and horrific becomes happening in Li’s life as she returns to Hong Kong to her mum and brother.
All in all, “Social Distancing” fails miserably as it never attempts to reach a targeted message or consistent plot line. In the process, the audience is often left astonished how things are unfolding on screen as the disconnect grows as the movie progresses. The characters are not exactly likeable and the direction and writing muddled. This is a difficult film to recommend.
I rated it 4/10