Venice 2021- “True Things” is an Exploration of the Social Media Mirage: Film Review

At one time or another, we’ve all been envious of those who seem to have it better than us on social media. With a beautiful spouse on a magical vacation, it seems that these Instagram influencers have found the true things in life. At least Kate (Ruth Wilson) from True Things seems to think so.

Kate lives an uneventful life as a single public assistance clerk. Due to the emptiness in her own life, she turns to social media for vicarious vacations. Though in the process she is only deepening her feelings of inadequacy.

That all seems to change when she meets Blondy (Tom Burke), a handsome stranger that is literally the man of her dreams. Their budding romance seems to be the culmination of all her hopes and desires. Or is it?

Ruth Wilson and Tom Burke have incredible chemistry as unleashed introvert Kate and beautiful asshole Blondy. Even when the narrative slows down significantly (especially in the second act), the sexual tension between the two actors is a raging, passionate fire. They even make an dull unemployment interview ooze with eroticism.

True Things explores the path to self-actualization and whether another person can join one on that journey. Kate and Blondy’s erotic relationship is challenged with the trials and tribulations that lie in the cropped out portion of one’s Instagram photos. For the purpose that we search for on social media may simply be mirages of an impossible life…

The Silver Lining

The square aspect ratio used by cinematographer Ashley Connor, is almost the exact same dimensions as an Instagram post. This perfectly ties into True Things’s exploration of how social media influences us. The aspect ratio makes it feel as though we aren’t seeing the full picture of Kate and Blondy’s relationship, which ties into True Things’ exploration of how social media obscures and distorts reality. It’s small decisions like this one that elevate Wootliff’s feature beyond the typical erotic thriller.

True Things is coming soon to a screen near you.

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