If you are looking for a film that challenges your perceptions and makes you question the role of attention and self-worth in our society, then “Sick of Myself” is the movie for you. Written and directed by Norwegian filmmaker [Kristoffer Borgli], this strange and thought-provoking film takes us on a journey through the life of Signe, a young woman trapped in a web of self-obsession and the desperate desire for recognition.
The movie kicks off with an establishing sequence that sets the tone for the rest of the film. We see Signe [Kristine Kujath Thorp] in a toxic relationship with her narcissistic boyfriend, Thomas [Eirik Saether]. They are at a fancy restaurant, pretending to celebrate her birthday. Thomas orders a bottle of wine worth € 2500. With that, they launch their mission: they steal the bottle just to take it to a house party and brag about their prey. As it is soon revealed, Signe and Thomas are very much alike: both are on a quest to be noticed and praised.
Signe, played brilliantly by Thorp, finds herself in a constant battle for recognition. She lives together with Thomas, who is an “artist”, enjoying the limelight through his exhibitions. Singe, on the other hand, works as a waitress. In an attempt to compensate for her feelings of invisibility, Signe weaves a web of lies and exaggerates her actions to become the center of attention. This leads to an intriguing dynamic between Signe and her boyfriend, who also happens to be a notorious liar and fraud. One of the film’s most amusing moments unfolds when Signe attempts to provoke a dog into biting her, hoping to portray herself as the unfortunate target of a gruesome assault.
The storyline takes unexpected turns, revealing Thomas’ secret life as a kleptomaniac, stealing objects for his exhibitions. This revelation highlights the destructive nature of two individuals, who are both toxic and narcissistic. The film cleverly explores the lengths people go to feel noticed and valued, even if it means losing their authenticity and meaningful relationships along the way.
Signe’s absent father and a mother who only sporadically appears to preach, add another layer of complexity to her character. How far would she go to gain the feeling of being cared for? The answer is far indeed. She soon starts taking an illegal Russian drug that causes a mysterious skin damage. Through her severe condition Signe finally becomes the center of attention. But how long does that last?
The use of a one camera set-up and quick pans creates a slapstick effect, while the strangely placed voiceovers and titles on screen add to the overall quirkiness. The bold aesthetic choices and the exceptional cinematography by Benjamin Loeb [After Yang] elevate the film, making it visually charming too.
While the movie loses some of its force in the last third, overall, it takes audiences on a dark and bold journey that is definitely worth their time. “Sick of Myself” skillfully navigates the complexities of low self-esteem, the pursuit of attention, and the impact of social media on our self-image.
“Sick of Myself” challenges our notions of what true caring means and explores the fine line between seeking validation and building genuine relationships. It is a satire that hits close to home, highlighting the competition for attention that permeates our modern lives.
Watch „Sick of Myself” by renting or purchasing it on Amazon Instant Video or iTunes.
~ by Dora Endre ~