It’s been a tough year for Rosie and Melissa, and the anniversary of Amelia’s suicide is hitting them differently. Unable to take any more time off work, mother Melissa is on the road, trying to marshal herself and hold back the tears, to not let her emotions overwhelm her, to not check in on Rosie every five minutes. Back home, Rosie is apparently coping better, spending time with her friends, laughing as they practice cheerleading routines, part of the team and safe among friends.
Behind closed doors, things are different, Rosie trawling through Amelia’s online history, her video diaries where she speaks of a man in their neighbourhood who made her uncomfortable, her fear that he would come to her house; what she did not record was the overwhelming shame when he distributed personal photographs of her. Following leads, Rosie searches chat rooms, assembling evidence which the police have no interest in, a dead end until fate intervenes.
Out on her bicycle, she sees him: a man playing heavy metal, using the phrase she found in the chat history, taking photographs of children. He fits the profile, and with her mom out of town, she calls the number on his pickup truck, asking him over to quote for some work, flirting with him, offering him beer, insisting when he refuses, taking him to the basement where she plans to incapacitate him, question him and extract a confession.
Written and directed by Sarah Pirozek, #Like is a teen focused revenge thriller, Sarah Rich’s Rosie filled with rage and disillusionment but determined, doing things a child shouldn’t have to do because nobody else will, placing herself in harm’s way and convinced on circumstantial evidence that the unnamed man she holds hostage is directly responsible for the death of her sister – but what if she is wrong?
Aspects of #Like unavoidably paralleling Hard Candy, it boils down to a very different film though equally dark and unflinching, Marc Machaca the unnamed suspect who must defend himself without benefit of counsel or jury against a court driven by overwhelming grief screaming for an outlet, entirely justified yet unfettered; if men are at their most dangerous when they give in to their impulses without thought, the same is true of Rosie.
As much about Rosie needing to absolve herself of her feelings of guilt for failing to help Amelia as finding someone to hold responsible, nothing happens in a vacuum and there are no easy explanations or rationalisations, Pirozek never simplifying the situation or offering an easy escape for either character once Rosie has committed to her course of action, a path to damnation for one or both of them with no turning back.
#Like will be available on digital download from Monday 1st November