With humor that transcends from screen to audience, there are never moments that appear unrealistic. Writers, Alison Severs and Lily Smith, draw on personal anecdotes and millennial slang to create a scene that we would literally see next door. The Internet plays an intrinsic role in our daily life, especially for young people; Offline manipulates this relationship to convey just how engulfed we are.
The narrative follows a basic three-act structure, we meet the characters and gradually gain insight into their relationships and social media consumed lives. Our lead protagonist, Amber played by Natasia Demetriou, has recently been through a break up and is coming to terms with her ex dating other people. Her housemates Simon (Jonathan Pointing) and Danielle (Mandeep Dhillon) have also been through a breakup with each other. The struggles of constantly being in each other’s company are portrayed through petty behaviors and snide remarks. Severs and Smith utilize this claustrophobic setting to create an antsy yet comedic atmosphere, where the characters are the source of humor and their conflicts drive the plot.
As the film follows the natural progression, we see more and more of Amber’s insecurities as she fumbles her way into hosting a party with ridiculous promises. She encounters her ex and his new girlfriend and decides to invite them to her party, in hopes of impressing them with her new ‘cool’ lifestyle. The plan begins to crumble as her anxious nature takes hold, and she is forced to create a Skrillex look-a-like. Demetrious’s performance propels the film; she brings the wit and charm of the script to life in an effortless manner. Every moment is believable to the point where we recall our personal memories of the exact same behaviour and reactions.
Each character is undergoing their own battle with not only each other, but also the silent personified character of the film, the Internet. Its presence is just as big as our three leads, even more so due to its power over everyone in the house. Simon is addicted to online gaming, Amber is obsessed with social media, and Danielle is a victim to the job seeking sites; all are attempting to hide their vulnerabilities from each other. The Internet becomes the catalyst for the entire film; everyone’s online insecurities are divulged ultimately being the cause of the mayhem. The comedic tone of Offline maintains the audience’s attention whilst subtly discussing the serious facts of Internet overuse. Rather than being an information tool for these characters, it has become their life and air, the only thing that appears to create daily action. The writers use this antagonist in excess to prove a point, to demonstrate millennial’s unhealthy relationship with the Internet and how it affects real life situations. However the comedic relief cushions these concepts, as a means to give space for the audience to interpret from their own standpoints.
The Director, Joe Fraser, takes a unique approach to the film, merely allowing the dialogue to flow between characters. There are minimal stylistic choices, giving full presence over to the actors and the script itself. With such a strong story and cast it carries itself, giving the viewer a captivating narrative over anything else.
Overall, Offline is a witty story that follows the realities of youth culture and the co-dependent relationship we share with the Internet. Severs and Smith create a wildly entertaining piece that evokes laughter and emotion, whilst staying true to its young voice. There are definitely moments the older generation will not comprehend, which makes it even more exclusive than it already is.