“Ingrid Goes West” stars Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, Billy Magnussen, Wyatt Russell, Pom Klementieff, and O’Shea Jackson Jr. Released on August 11, 2017, the film is about a mentally unstable woman who becomes obsessed with a social media influencer.
The film is written and directed by Matt Spicer. While the final weekend of the summer movie season offers some pretty small films, there are at least a couple of indie films that are expanding into more theaters. The first of the two indie films I’ll be looking at this weekend is, in fact, another film that deals with obsession. Luckily, it’s not a by-the-numbers obsession thriller like Unforgettable, thank goodness. It’s more along the lines of a dramatic comedy, so I’m hoping that this genre change might make some sort of difference. Turns out it did.
While the story does involve a woman with serious mental problems stalking someone that she knew from Instagram, it’s what’s inside the story that makes this “obsession” film unique. Sure, it has some usual themes that we’re familiar with, but the commentary on some of the consequences of pursuing a one-sided relationship with someone based on what they post on social media, especially from a mentally unstable person’s perspective, is something that I think should get noticed by everyone who are into social media. Thanks to his solid direction and screenplay, Matt Spicer delivered an amusing, yet odd, drama that resembles what friendship is really about. Aubrey Plaza was really impressive as the title character. I’ve seen her in a couple of films that were either decent or…not so decent, but in this film, she was near perfection in terms of her character’s personality. I also thought that Elizabeth Olsen did a really good job as Taylor Sloane. She definitely knows how to show off her talents outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe when she’s not using telekinesis on the bad guys. Jackson Jr. was my absolute favorite out of the main three. I really liked his performance in Straight Outta Compton, and I definitely like him in this one as well. Not only was he fun to listen to, but his character is a fan of Batman. If you’re a fan of the Caped Crusader, you’ll probably get a lot of references from the Batman media. The film does get a bit overlong in some occasions, but it always managed to pick itself back up afterwards.
Overall, with its impressive cast, Matt Spicer’s direction, a well-crafted screenplay, and its relatable commentary on social media, “Ingrid Goes West” is a late summer indie gem that offers a unique take on the “obsession” genre. With an odd plot like this, it may be challenging for me to recommend it to almost everyone, but if you’re interested in seeing it, I insist that you do. You might learn a thing or two about social media as well.