Sweat review – the loneliness of the social media influencer | Movies

In theory, it should be possible to create a drama about a social media influencer motivational fitness celebrity that isn’t all about the hidden loneliness shame of her shallow existence. It should be possible to show such a person being a huge hit in public perfectly content in private. But this movie from Poland-based Swedish director Magnus von Horn pretty much goes for route one, despite some interesting touches, it promises much more in terms of shock character insight than it ever really delivers, with some contrived unconvincing plot transitions.

Sylwia (Magdalena Koleśnik) has 600,000 followers for the Instagram account on which she obsessively posts, detailing every aspect of her day as a successful single woman, running colossally popular fitness events with her beefcake male assistant Klaudiusz (Julian Świeżewski). He clearly has a major thing for her, though at one crucial moment he shows a very implausible kind of restraint. She is living in a sleek apartment with her adorable dog, Jackson; there’s a new fitness DVD out everything seems to be going well.

But she’s recently gone viral with a video in which she tearfully confessed to wretchedness at not having a boyfriend and, far from praising her emotional honesty or caring for her mental health, Sylwia’s sponsors are hinting this is a downer they may cancel her contract. To make things worse, Sylwia has a creepy stalker hanging out outside the apartment block it is the birthday of her widowed mum Basia (Aleksandra Konieczna), who is hosting a party at which all the family are invited, including Sylwia’s beamingly pregnant cousin.

There are some good scenes in the mix here: particularly when an old schoolfriend of Sylwia bumps into her at the mall starts miserably confessing the grim things that are happening in her life, so different, of course, from Sylwia’s ostensible glamorous success. But this film isn’t really sure where it’s taking us how, or if, it wants to surprise us, the key scene with Klaudiusz doesn’t work.

Sweat is released on 25 June in cinemas on Curzon Home Cinema

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