MOVIE, ‘CLICKBAIT’, DEPICTS INTERNET AS OUR PANDORA’S BOX
Premiered on Netflix on August 25, the murder mystery thriller, Clickbait, made a shocking revelation that there is something more dangerous and sinister than criminals, which is the internet. The Netflix’s new limited series not only highlighted the way internet has shaped our lives and societies, it also established how we can hurt each other with it.
Created by Tony Ayres, David Heyman, Christian White, Clickbait stars Adrian Grenier as Nick Brewer, a man who suddenly goes missing and resurfaces online in a video where he was beaten and forced to hold up a sign that reads: “I abuse women. At 5 million views, I die.”
Perhaps, Nick was kidnapped and framed to look like an abuser or was he was simply a criminal making a confession? However, viewers are left to decide, after taking them through an 8-episode series, where Nick’s sister (Zoe Kazan) and wife (Betty Gabriel), unearthed the side of Nick they never knew existed, as they rush to find and save him. Ayres takes the viewers through a rollercoaster adventure where each episode follows a different character as they try to solve Nick’s disappearance.
In the show’s early development days, White “went away and did this phenomenal research document where he scoured the world for these kinds of crimes, when the virtual leaks into the actual and has a deep impact on human beings,” Ayres says. And through that research, they “decided to make our show based on a number of real crimes that had actually happened.” Although Ayres was silent about the specifics of the mystery, yet he teased that what he’s most proud of is how the crew really wanted to do a mystery without having to resort to psychopathy as the ultimate answer.
He noted that most of the time, thrillers and murder mysteries usually revolve around some version of sociopathy and psychopathy, just like what played out in Kike Maìllo’s ‘A perfect enemy’, where the protagonist Jeremiasz Angust, an accomplished architect with narcissistic personality disorder killed his best friend Frank Hoffman and made him disappear without a clue. Angust fled to Paris to start afresh and there, he married Isabelle, who he later killed out of the fear of losing her. However, Ayres was interested in the idea that the internet is this pandora’s box that can lead us into all kinds of trouble — trouble that we don’t even understand, especially if we go into it innocently, because it gives us access to that lizard part of our brain which works on impulse and it makes us feel as though we’re anonymous. At the same time, it’s one of the most public recorded verifiable mediums that we have. People exist within this paradox, and he thinks this paradox in itself has a fracturing effect on our personality.
Since all eight episodes of Clickbait dropped at the same time, Ayres thinks watching two episodes at a time, without break,mo is the best way to watch so that “people could have conversations about the nature of identity in the virtual age.”