Virtual reality becomes a dangerous thing in director, co-writer and star Benjamin Dickinson’s craftily shot and cleverly scripted latest.
Dickinson plays David, an advertising executive with a beautiful yoga instructor girlfriend named Juliette (Nora Zehetner) and a tendency to get a little too wrapped up in his work. His latest client, a virtual reality company named Augmenta, wants him to come up with a campaign for their new virtual reality glasses. David becomes a little bored and frayed at the ends when it comes to his job and his girl, so he finds himself playing around with those glasses. He eventually comes up with a way to virtually recreate Sophie (Alexia Rasmussen), his best friend’s girlfriend. He starts a virtual affair with virtual Sophie, and the lines of reality begin to blur. Shot in black and white with brief flourishes of color, the film feels a little too real for comfort in that the devices being used in the movie seem to be just around the corner.
Society has already been gulped up by their smart phones and video games, so Dickinson’s film is simply representing the next step in the dehumanization of relationships. Creative Control is often funny, sometimes scary and always an interesting look at what happens when virtual reality represents too much relief from real life pressures. It’s an impressive effort from Dickinson, all the more impressive in that the film’s budget is listed at a cool one million dollars.