Unreal: Anbarci & Arora’s “Proxy”

Proxy

Screenplay by Shranjay Arora & Seda Anbarci
Produced by Seda Anbarci
Writer, Director, and Editor – Shranjay Arora
Starring: Chloe Breen and Reid Rathore Chauhan

Review by Jen Bush

As an owner of a virtual reality headset, it’s easy to see how one can form an obsessive addiction to using it.  It’s a supreme immersive form of escapism which is especially needed in the current times we are living in.  Proxy deals with advanced realistic virtual reality technology.

Proxy takes place in the not-too-distant future of 2028 where living on a planet other than earth is possible.  In Proxy we meet Kendrick.  He freeloads off his executive girlfriend Aurelia.  He spends an excessive amount of time in a realistic virtual reality program with Aura, a woman who looks identical to his girlfriend.  He claims the technology was sent to him in a professional capacity to review but Aurelia knows it’s a banned device only available from the dangerous dark web.  The couple argues and lines are blurred between fantasy and reality.  Kendrick struggles to break free of the device to save his relationship as he slips more and more into the virtual realm.

Seda Anbarci and Shranjay Arora offer up a clever biting observation of sci-fi and sci-real with their fast-paced screenplay. Anbarci (who made her mark with an LGBTQ+ web series) produced this dystopian look at VR skillfully directed and edited by Arora. Arora, whose editing prowess is clearly seen in another sci-fi showing, Shuttlepod (a podcast extoling all things Star Trek). Anbarci and Arora clearly show their worth in the genre with this compelling futuristic techno thriller that will get the adrenaline pumping.  The two provide a film with a sleek look to it with gripping moments of tension.  The story was completely relatable. Devices rule our lives, and we go about our days moving from one screen to another.  The issues that exist between Aurelia and Kendrick mirror issues that occur in all kinds of real relationships.  “Put the phone down” and “Shut the device” are phrases as familiar as hello and goodbye.  Kudos to Chloe Breen for pulling double duty as Aurelia, the girlfriend at her wits end and Aura, the seductive virtual reality vixen.  Reid Chauhan gave a remarkable performance as the tortured Kendrick.  This short film was a cautionary tale to disconnect from our devices and stay connected with the people who count in our lives.

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