Brandon Cronenberg has followed his dad’s steps; they happened to share the same obsession about diseases.
Antiviral is one of those movies leaving me with so many questions at the end. Another dystopia of a futuristic world (even if it is taking place in 2011) where here again science has gone too far. The seek of new markets led to a new way of satisfying customers, victims of a brand new psychological deficiency. And thus, aggravating their hysteria by implementing a new “drug”.
In our new society, young people are lurking for celebrity, or at least a way of being as close as possible to their idols even if it means, having the same diseases. A scene in the movie, that I could never possibly forget, illustrates perfectly the whole interest of the population presented. Syd March (wonderfully played by Caleb Landry Jones), an employee of the Lucas Clinic, is selling to a client, Hannah Geist‘s (Sarah Gadon) herpes, the women being the most popular celebrity. He recalls her perfection, going even further, he describes her as being “not human”. Then he asked the client in which side of his mouth he wanted the herpes, and added that if she had kissed him, he would have had it on his left side. The last information convinced the customer, feeling he will have a special relationship with the women he admired.
It is the same obsessive behavior some people have when it comes to the man or women they love. A strong need to be close to him/her, to feel him/her on their skin. However, in here we have one of the sickest need of all.
At the end of the movie, we have this beautiful metaphor. A piece of art. Vampire fans sucking the blood of famous people. A vampiric society sucking the milk of Earth. Maybe a denunciation of a capitalistic and superficial world?
Antiviral is delivering a moral. Denunciating the content medias are spreading, and the way people are swallowing everything they see or hear. Denunciating the importance given to famousness and denunciating a fucked up world where money rules everything.
However, Brandon Cronenberg did a one of the finest work offering us a world where every imperfection is seen. The color white is over used, and it permits us to see everything brighter, with precision. A clinical precision presenting some shots of the films as disruptive and confusing.
I have to mention also the character of Syd March, which has been perfectly understood and performed by Caled Landry Jones, who petrified me and left me undecided on wether or not I should be creating an empathy for him.
At last the similarities with his father, can’t be denied, but the meaning of their movies might differ.