By Will Barber Taylor
On a New York City winter night, the fate of a young intoxicated boy is determined by his brief encounters with strangers, exposing a deeper underlying American truth. The modern day yogi, the pseudo social media activist, the young binge-drinkers, and the first generation American: all bound by their desire to be seen, yet blinded and divided by it, unable to look into the eyes of another.
Opening with a young man (Connor Vasile) seemingly intoxicated on a railway platform, the film shows us the various people who interact with him but do nothing until a young woman (Hadley Robinson) attempts to get him help. From there, we see the young man attempt to regain a sense of order in his life as it continues to spiral out of control.
The performances are exceptionally good with Connor Vasile’s central performance being particularly rounded. The scene in the bathroom in which he attempts to become sober and tries to make himself look fine is especially heart-breaking and demonstrates his depth and versatility as an actor.
Look At Me is a deep and resonant film that addresses not just the myriad of issues that can cause someone to become embroiled in substance abuse but also the underlying fracturing of our own society. The two may be interlinked; the film does not attempt to justify one argument or another but rather show the state American society is in.
It is a truly reflective film and one that will ensure that after seeing it you will be forced to reconsider how you would act in certain circumstances; how you would react if you were faced with the same dilemmas that our characters are. This film is not simply about what is happening outside and beyond us but within us as well. We are as responsible for the shape of society as much as the characters in this film. It is a sobering thought but one that is worth remembering.