Pippa Bianco‘s feature debut, based on her award-winning short film of the same name, begins with 16-year-old Mandy waking up on her front yard with almost no recollection of how she got there.
To Mandy’s horror, she discovers that she passed out at a party the night before. And while she was in that state, explicit videos were taken of her and “shared” for everyone to see.
The film follows Mandy as she tries to piece together exactly what happened that night while dealing with the fallout of violating content about her circulating around her town.
In case you missed the marketing, here’s the gripping trailer:
From Short to Feature
Clocking in at just under 90 minutes, Share doesn’t seem like a film that would have time to drag. Factor in this is basically an extended version of a premise previously executed in 15 minutes with brilliance and you may think differently.
There are a few points throughout where the admittedly thin narrative feels like it’s being stretched to its breaking point–a few too many scenes of characters just pondering silently. Fortunately, there’s not enough wasted spaces to heavily deter from the film’s quality.
In order to pad out this longer run time, it appears the roles of some side characters have been expanded. Sadly, it’s never enough to really know them beyond their relationship to Mandy.
The film is so focused on Mandy that it becomes dependent on whether or not she is an interesting character. Luckily, Mandy is not only an engaging persona, but she is brought to life with nuance by Rhianne Barreto who perfectly illustrates how Mandy keeps all her pain bottled up.
She’s so great that she ends up making the supporting cast look mediocre in comparison.
However, Barreto isn’t the only one on her A-game. Director Pippa Bianco makes the jump to full-length films just fine. Her intimate and understanding hand is felt throughout Share as she hones in on the mood of the film, crafting a dark drama through blue-tinted visuals and a melancholic score.
Bleak but Honest
Perhaps Share’s best attribute as a film is how unflinching it is when realistically portraying the events that follow the sharing of a video, like the one in question. As a teenager myself, I can admit it’s hard to find films centered around people my age focused on the problems they face that feel authentic.
Lesser films revolving around similar subject matter wouldn’t understand the isolation one can feel when they’re unsafe on their phone and in their town, but Share does.
The film is unafraid to show how blissfully ignorant an older generation is when it comes to handling technology and understanding how it can be used. Specifically, Mandy’s dad is so surprised about everything surrounding his daughter’s situation that he is unable to help her cope. He was happy thinking everything is how it used to be when he should’ve been making himself aware.
Share also tackles how ill-equipped the justice system is to deal with harmful videos like this when caught up in a social stratosphere. It’s so bad that in order to investigate, the victim could end up with more pain than the perpetrator.
Law enforcement can protect victims physically but it is difficult to stop a flood of threatening text messages from a multitude of different numbers. The authorities can’t change how everyone looks at you differently when they’ve seen a part of you desired to kept private.
What could they do anyway?
In the fight for justice, Mandy ends up becoming an outcast and that is why so many women are still afraid to come forward about sexual harassment, even when there’s proof. It’s heartbreaking but the truth and Share doesn’t opt to show a happy way out.
Overall, despite the imperfect leap from short to feature, Share is a dark, aware, and intimate drama that is mostly compelling due to its lead performance.