Frankie (Maya Hawke), a young and disgruntled Los Angeles barmaid recently orphaned by her father, spends most of her free time filming amateur videos on her cell phone. One day at the mall, she meets Link (Andrew Garfield), a magnetic antisocial guy who "performs" for her in an unlikely impromptu performance. The enchanted girl picks him up and uploads a YouTube video that quickly goes viral. Convinced that he has the potential to become a famous influencer, Frankie decides to involve him, along with fellow Jake (Nat Wolf), in the creation of a series of videos. Due to the motto, it was renamed "No-one-Special". The (Nobody-Special) boy becomes the star of the network, but "with great power comes great responsibility," and Frankie begins to meet Link's new and dark but no less attractive face.
Mainstream is an interesting film that took the risk of becoming a masterpiece. Gia Coppola is an irresistible, entertaining and balanced product in all its aspects: an obviously banal topic, but viewed from a new point of view, a bold but deliberate direction (even in setting boundaries) and the right interpreters with Andrew Garfield like no other. he had never been seen before. Sorry that towards the end the pace slows down, which leads to a "hasty" and not harsh ending, as one would expect, albeit "fair" in content and with Garfield's complete triumph.
The undisputed protagonist of the mainstream is the world of social networks and the stars that inhabit it and are generated by it: influencers, a symbol of a society in which communication is becoming more difficult and where our real identity and the one we use on the Internet often run along two parallel and continuous lines that (hopefully) never meet. A company looking for new reference data is able to provide faster and simpler answers: distant, but never so close, they make everything seem simple, fast and seem to have an opinion about everything. They affect the masses, whose sensitivity and empathy for the reality “outside the Internet” is becoming increasingly subtle and difficult to understand, along with a lack of will to understand things that can only arise as a result of deepening and developing a true and personal critical conscience.
Frankie, a young and potentially talented filmmaker, personifies reflection and intuition in this film, a world of exploration and content that is built day after day and pulsates with the desire to be recognized and loved. Desire that is consumed and absorbed by an uncontrollable and uncontrollable Connection, dazzling and full of beautiful words, charismatic, but devoid of real content, a mirror of society that makes appearance and aggression its model. The only bulwark of common sense is the disgust of Jake, who has always had a crush on Frankie, who, sensing the inevitable epilogue of the story, is nonetheless unable to actively intervene and ultimately escapes.
On a visual level, Mainstream's narrative develops step by step and follows the evolution of its protagonists: from the silent film credits used to represent Frankie and Link's romantic and dreamy meeting, it continues with an escalation of vibrant colors and references. visually for historical periods such as the sixties and seventies, marked by a more relaxed and excessive society.
Maya Hawk is sweet and level-headed, effective in the role. The resemblance to her mother Uma Thurman is highlighted several times, both in the "white shirt" dance scene between Frankie and Link, and in some flashes when her blonde looks at the camera. But it is Andrew Garfield who takes the film home: exaggerated and unbridled, he gives audiences a hateful and irresistible Bond. Carried to the extreme of narcissism and vulgarity, Link finally confronts everyone with the truth: we have become empty vessels and insensitive to everything except the desire not to feel empty, to the point that we would be ready to fill it at any cost, with anything and how. as quickly as possible. There is no place for digestion and understanding, but only superficial bulimia, shocking actions and strong words, which are always not enough for us.
Mainstream is an influential film in terms of both style and content, which, despite some slowdowns and a final piece that perhaps deserves a little more time, remains proof that the Coppola family's talent has not been depleted in the last generation.