I would like to thank the ToHorror Film Fest for giving me the opportunity to participate in the festival as a press pass and for allowing me to discover this gem of a film: Syk Pike (Sick of Myself)!
Syk Pike (Norwegian title which translated means “Sick Girl”) and in english is translated as “Sick of Myself” is a 2022 film by Kristoffer Borgli.
The plot immediately caught my attention, this is one of those films that enjoys exaggerating some unpleasant characteristic to the point of absurdity, leading to the weird and unsettling.
In this specific case, we meet Signe and Thomas, a very toxic couple, whose only goal is to tear each other apart to “shine” more than the partner in any situation.
We will follow Signe’s evolution more closely: beautiful but empty, with not much to give but definitely eager to have a lot: a lot of success, a lot of love, a lot of approval but above all… a lot of attention. And to have this attention she will be willing… to do anything. She will really put effort into achieving her goal… and she will do it in such a twisted way that if she had invested 1% of that determination in anything else, she would have become a truly interesting person, but no.
I compliment the construction of this character, Signe’s character is, for me, hateful. And I must say that the actress (Kristine Kujath Thorp) made me hate her well; so, I would say that she did a great job.
SYK PIKE – IRONIC AND A LITTLE UNSETTLING
Syk Pike (eng. Sick of Myself) has a bit of what I liked about The Lobster (exaggeration to the ridiculous) and a bit of what I liked about Cat Sick Blues (making you laugh while making you feel a little discomfort). I must say, in fact, that the ironic side is also done well within the film, it was easy for it to clash; instead, the director manages to insert various well-placed and funny scenes that work well with the rest of the story.
As for the theme of the story, this is very, very current, and I dare anyone of you to say that you do not know at least one person who presents some (if not all) of Signe’s traits (yes, I’m looking at you, you who put stories while you’re in the hospital just to get told oh nooo poor babyyyyyy what happened to you????)
THE TRUE HORROR IS ENDING UP LIKE SIGNE, BRUH
Anyway, what scared me the most about this film was not so much the body horror, but the fear of ending up like Signe: can you imagine being so empty and superficial that you have nothing to share? So ugly inside that you want to tear apart the happiness of those you “love” just to gain a little self-esteem?
It’s the thing that made me reflect the most and speaking of reflection, a book came to mind called “The Society of the Spectacle” by Guy Debord, although the title is very self-explanatory, the work is very extensive, but I will focus on those few points that I found in common with the theme of Syk Pike.
In his book, Debord talks about a “society of the spectacle” in the narrowest sense of the term, that is, a spectacle made up of an audience that receives and a stage that gives (e.g. religion itself, politics), but he also talks about how we tend to spectacularize every aspect of our life (up to alienation, see social media): just like Signe does by telling the episode of the dog, she embroidered so much on it that every time it becomes something more epic, spectacular, incredible. Debord also emphasizes how we tend to give more importance to appearance than to being… and this is practically the whole plot of Syk Pike! We are faced with a person who is an empty shell and tries to decorate herself as best she can, just to receive the attention she wants.
In any case, leaving aside my hatred for Signe, Syk Pike (Sick of Myself) is also a mirror of today’s society, highlighting the obsession of wanting to prove something to others, the need to show that you are worth it and that you are important: all stuff that finds space (inevitably) on social media, which simultaneously act as a stage and an audience.
Syk Pike (or Sick of Myself, as you prefer) therefore touches on many interesting themes (Signe’s unresolved relationship with her father, social media, social approval, the desire for success at all costs), all interesting and very current themes. They are handled well and then put on stage a nightmare, a beautiful nightmare.