Taking place in the not to distant future, AntiViral looks at a world in which societies obsession with celebrity has reached epic proportions. Syd March is a scientist working at the Lucas clinic, which specializes in infecting willing participants with the same viruses or sicknesses which their favorite celebrities have. On one fateful day, Syd becomes infected with a virus responsible for the death of celebrity Hannah Geist, setting off a race against time in which Syd must solve the mystery of her death and save his own life. Brandon Cronenberg's AntiViral is a moody and stylistic experience which is as much a critique of corporate greed as it is about our growing obsession with celebrity. It's about the desire for people to feel any type of physical connection to their idols, even going as far as to infect themselves to feel this connection. There is a satirical quality to the world which AntiViral presents us, a place where people purchase celebrity-cell manufactured strip-steaks or skin grafs of their favorite celebrities. Cronenberg's direction is impressive, creating a two-tone aesthetic to capture the world of the average consumer and the world of the celebrity. Everything in the Clinic and having to do with celebrity is made of a vivid white color palette, giving off a clean, sterile quality. When Syd ventures outside of these confines we are treated to a much more earthy and normal palette. This type of detail to the aesthetic is what informs the viewer early on that Syd isn't actually above the celebrity worship, but is simply another obsessed soul. My biggest critique of AntiViral lies in the character of Syd, being too one-note. More time needed to spent early on in the film, showing Syd in a more cocky, business-like approach so when he becomes infected with the fatal disease there is more of a character shift. Brandon Cronenberg's AntiViral is a fun little perverse treat, which definitely shows that Brandon is capable of stepping out of the shadows of his father.
Love of all things cinema brought me here.