Hejter – Jan Komasa (2020)

Best Buzz PR is a company with a fairly neutral name. It is not a traditional public relations company though, it manipulates (using) social media. You know the stories, companies with hundreds of fake accounts giving people many “likes” and the like.

Best Buzz PR also works the other way around. Clients also hire them to thwart adversaries. Some online sports girl gets too popular, so Best Buzz is hired to raise negative publicity.

Tomasz does pretty much the same in his private life. He uses usual media and cell phones to stalk people, eavesdrop and thus be able to manipulate them. Life does not go exactly as he wants, but he works himself into the fast cruel world of ‘PR’ and gets a job at Best Buzz.

Tomasz’ initial assignments are petty, but after a while the company also proves to work in politics. Politics in this Polish movie is either extremely left and extremely right and Tomasz gets the job to make a slander campaign against the left wing candidate. Tomasz goes way further than misusing social media though.

The actual title of the film is “Sala samobójców. Hejter”, which according to Google translates to “Hall of suicide. Hater.” It does not really dig deep into the possible ways in which social media can be misused. It is also funny to see that all youngers seem to access their social media on laptops, which certainly takes away some of the probably intended contemporary feel. Also it is sometimes unclear what Tomasz is up to.

As a thriller “Hejter” is alright. Tomasz goes in head over heels, a bit too far, but of (of course) he proves to outmaster everybody else and so his is the anti-hero. Story-wise I found the film not too convincing, especially not in details.

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