I've decided to write a review on this movie for two reasons - the first is that I really enjoyed it and thought it had a unique and thought-provoking plot and therefore wanted to naturally share it with you all, the second reason was that it doesn't achieve particularly high ratings and I wanted to rectify that.
So the plot of Antiviral (2012) is that in a dystopian future celebrities are so idolised that even their illnesses and diseases have become highly valued, drug-like commodities. The inspiration for the plot came to the director/writer Brandon Cronenburg (son of David Cronenburg (A Dangerous Method (2011), A History of Violence (2005)) when he had caught a viral infection once. He said that:
"I was delirious and was obsessing over the physicality of illness, the fact that there was something in my body and in my cells that had come from someone else's body, and I started to think there was a weird intimacy to that connection. And afterwards I tried to think of a character who would see a disease that way and I thought: a celebrity-obsessed fan. Celebrity culture is completely bodily obsessed - who has the most cellulite, who has fungus feet? Celebrity culture completely fetishizes the body and so I thought the film should also fetishize the body - in a very grotesque way." (1)
Not only do I think the topic is of importance but I also think that it was very artfully created. The aesthetic theme throughout most of the movie is a minimalistic and clean white environment. The main character Syd March (played by Caleb Landry Jones) follows this theme of minimalism with his often very pale features and contrasting freckles. His character is of a salesperson for one of the companies selling the illnesses/diseases to desiring customers. The story turns sour when he himself is infected with a virus which turns out to be highly life threatening. The end is excellent and well worth the wait.
If you like movies such as Pi (1998), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), Moon (2009), The Island (2005), Memento (2000) then I think there's a good chance that you'll like Antiviral. It does require you to have some imagination and to get lost in it rather than picking it apart. What is captivating about it is that celebrity idolising is happening right now and at times reaching dangerous levels of severity. You only need to look on a TV guide to see 'the celebrity impact'...you have young kids with anorexia, bulimia, some even go so far as to have plastic surgery to look exactly like their idols (2). If that is happening then the idea of infecting yourself with the exact flu that say, Beyonce or Hugh Jackman had doesn't appear so far-fetched. I believe the question that the movie is essentially asking is 'how far will celebrity fans go?' and at the same time, holding a mirror up to our own society's behavior regarding celebrities and highlighting our ridiculousness.