Film: “Nerve”; Directors: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman; Cast: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Emily Meade, Miles Heizer, Colson Baker, Juliette Lewis, Kimiko Glenn, Marc John Jefferies, Brian Marc, Samira Wiley; Rating: **1/2

We have all played truth or dare, sometime or the other in our lives and “Nerve”, which is described as “a game of truth or dare, minus the truth”, is an extension of this game. It effectively uses the social media as a tool for the narration.

Fresh off the block, “Nerve” with a tinge of romance is a teen, action thriller that draws you into its fold and gets you involved wholeheartedly.

The tale follows an industrious student, Venus Delmonico (Emma Roberts), who is fondly called “Vee”, by her close circle of friends.

Being a bore, she is egged on by her friends to accept a challenge on “Nerve”, a game app that is populated with participants who are watchers and players.

Every player is challenged by watchers or co-players and every dare won, brings home followers and prize money.

Vee’s first challenge starts with having to kiss a stranger Ian (Dave Franco), with whom she later pairs up to get on to a roller-coaster ride of challenges that are fun and thrilling.

The film, written by Jessica Sharzer based on a novel of the same name, authored by Jeanne Ryan, is a social commentary on how bad social media can be. While the plot is filled with over-the-top fun thrillers for teenagers, the tale is scary and realistic. The film accomplishes everything it sets out to do. And the entire plot is convincing due to the inclusion of modern technology.

Though the graph of the plot is formulaic, the film does not cease to be exciting. It is only the last act that does not offer any novelty.

On the performance front, the film is aptly cast and every character performs with natural ease. The film is Emma Roberts’ canvas all the way. She convincingly graduates from a reserved sidekick to her best friend Sydney, to a confident nerve-holding winner, which is praiseworthy.

Dave Franco as Vee’s partner and fellow contestant along with Emily Meade as Sydney, Juliette Lewis as Vee’s mother and Miles Hizer as her initial boyfriend Tommy, are all equally competitive.

Technically the film, with moderate production values, is well mounted. The graphics seem a tad mediocre but it works aptly in the narrative.

This film is a new generation theme story that is effectively told. It will appeal to teenagers and those who are fond of thrillers.

By Troy Ribeiro

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