[Movie Review] SICK OF MYSELF

[Movie Review] SICK OF MYSELF

SICK OF MYSELF was written, edited, and directed by Kristoffer Borgli. It stars the incredible Kristine Kujath Thorp and Eirik Sæther.

Signe and Thomas are horrible people in a horrible relationship. They sabotage each other constantly. Narcissistic and delusional, they bring out the worst in each other. Thomas uses Signe to support his art and Signe is desperate for attention, lying constantly to her friends and family. However, when she has a terrifying encounter at work, she begins to crave sympathy from everyone around her. When Thomas’s art gets into a big gallery, it sparks a series of events in Signe’s life and the dark descent into her psychosis.

SICK OF MYSELF is very much that very dry kind of Norwegian comedy. I once had a Norwegian friend who had a lovely book called, “Scandinavian Humor and Other Myths,” which he would proudly display. This is very much in the same vein. You might not get that “ha ha” laugh, but there are ripe moments of delicious and biting Scandinavian humor.

That being said, there is something inherently melancholic and mesmerizing about Signe and her mental health throughout the film. We see from the very beginning that she’s seeking Thomas’s approval and at the same point, is bitterly jealous of him. In the first scene, it even shows her in the eyes of other people – she’s dismissed, forgettable, and insignificant.

As her desperate attempts for attention escalate it veers between comedy, contempt, and compassion for her. Borgli does an incredible job of balancing all of these emotions. The film is raw and sloppy, much in the way Contracted was, but with more of an Instagram-obsessed edge.

Composer Turns did an incredible job with the music in SICK OF MYSELF, making the melodies simple and elegant. It is soft in its portrayal of Signe and her plight, while gradually adding to the tension as she continues to alienate and manipulate those around her.

All this energy could have fallen apart if it weren’t for the absolutely stellar makeup department (Dimitra Drakopoulou, Izzi Galindo, Steinar Kaarstein, Live Becker Knudsen, and Ida Astero Welle). The makeup and prosthetics were leaps and bounds above fantastic. It looked so real and horrific, and Thorpe’s performance through her makeup sold it. It looked painful, cracked, and itchy. It made one feel claustrophobic in their own skin, in a way that only body horror can do.

While SICK OF MYSELF was more horror-adjacent and not a straight-up horror film, the drama at its core was very much horror. Being insecure and desperate in the same ways that body horror thrives. Finding yourself falling to pieces over your own hubris is exactly what body horror is about.

The acting from the whole cast was wonderful, showcasing how disingenuous the characters were. How superficial and vain they were, while still pleading for each other’s affection and praise. Thorpe and Sæther especially shine as a couple who are so similar and yet so different, but only bringing to the surface their worst traits in each other.

If you’re looking for a rough story about seeking approval in today’s society with sly tongue-in-cheek humor, SICK OF MYSELF should be on your watchlist.

SICK OF MYSELF opens April 12th at the IFC Center in New York and April 14th at Landmark NuArt Theater in Los Angeles.

J.M. Brannyk
Movie Reviews

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