Dream Scenario Review: Nicolas Cage Film is Floaty, Mundane and Self-Serious

Anushka Halve

A Very Interesting Premise

Here is an ‘average’ middle-aged man who has unwittingly gone viral. The film deals with the dystopian pace at which images can circulate on social media, and the terrifying randomness of virality. Why is Paul Mathews showing up in people’s dreams? 

Nicolas Cage’s Casting is a Stroke of Genius

Cage plays Paul with a simmering frustration, and a profound desire for more, and is brilliant at pronouncing the tragic confusion of a man who can never gap the distance between how he wants to be perceived as opposed to how others insist on characterising his influence.

Borgli Wants to Shoehorn Cancel Culture

into his cautionary tale on the underbelly of being an internet sensation. The film highlights the impact of public perceptions in fueling outrage and questions their foundation, but what it fails to bring forward is not just viral fame that can have dangerous consequences

A Wobbly Third Act

Borgli, who is also the editor, keeps the film very tight in its first two acts. There are montages that pique your interest, and jump cuts that elicit big laughs from the audience. In the third act, the audience disappointingly watches the film become cringey and overt.

Borgli is Trying to Make a Bigger Point

The film desires to be a nuanced exploration of these absurd phenomena, a meta-commentary on social media culture, and a sharp satire on cancel culture.

A Middling Black Mirror Episode

Dream Scenario plays out like a middling Black Mirror episode in reverse, and instead of  being the cool, unnerving, biting satire that it wanted to be, it only ends up being annoying enough to elicit a polite eye roll.