Something that initially looked like a typical almost stereotypical romantic comedy / drama will very quickly turn into a brutal, shocking, disturbing and even quite morbid horror. Therefore, the debut feature film made by Mimi Cave, written by Lauryn Kahn, proved to be a real surprise that I could only marginally compare in style and dark humor with the recent black humor thriller “Promising Young Woman” by Emerald Fennell. “Fresh” is one of those films that is perhaps best immersed in with as little prior knowledge of the content as possible, and at first it seems to be another in a series of modern stories about the “problems” of modern dating.
Young English actress Daisy Edgar – Jones who presented herself as a great talent in the extraordinary Irish mini-series “Normal People” is one of those lonely “unfortunates”. Her Noah is young, beautiful, charming, but by no means does she manage to find a suitable man for a relationship. However, she does not seem to be trying to find anyone in the real world, but relies exclusively on some dating applications, and immediately in the introductory scene we see that artificial intelligence is not the happiest solution in this regard. She is on a date with a moron who can barely get rid of it, and it seems that her problems came to an end when she accidentally meets a charming, eloquent, witty and attractive Steve (Sebastian Stan) in a supermarket.
Noah’s best friend Mollie (Jojo T. Gibbs) that the mysterious Steve does not have a profile on any social network, and after a few days Noah will go with Steve for a weekend at his cottage. Despite a friend’s warning, Noah, who is in love, will set off with Steve, and this will prove to be one of those fatal mistakes. The story will develop very quickly in a completely unexpected direction, and it will turn out that for Steve, the character of Christian Bale from “American Psyche” is a complete amateur. I wouldn’t want to spoil and spoil much because surprises are the main and strongest trump cards of this stylized modernist horror whose director of photography was Polish Pawel Pogorzelski, a man trusted by Ari Aster in his horror masterpieces “Hereditary” and “Midsommar”.
At the same time, “Fresh” is a quality satire, a smart and well-thought-out social critique of today’s society and the spirit of a time in which people seem to become increasingly alienated, distant and closed, leaving life decisions to applications and artificial intelligence. But in all that interplay and reflection, there is a main catch of the film that could really shock you, and it is also a strong trump card of “Fresh”, which is obvious that it is a film that does not consider itself so deadly serious. That is why, I suppose, the whole story is exaggerated across all borders in order to avoid the frequent and irritating preaching and wisdom that similar films often fall into. There is no such thing here, and this is a film that definitely succeeds in its intention to shock, surprise and even amaze the viewer. Rating 7/10.
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