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Okay Google (2021) Short FIlm Review

Okay Google (2021), directed by Sam Lucas Smith | SHORT FILM REVIEW

It’s scary to think how much trust we put in our tech devices; our handy pocket friends that we can count on no matter what. Unless the battery dies of course. Or unless the attentive technology decides to work against us, wreaking revenge on all those countless times we’ve taken our problems out on it. More so, the real question is do we confide in our AI partner more than any real friend we know?

That’s exactly what Sam Lucas Smith explores in his dark comedy Okay Google (2021).

High-tech armed with cutting edge banter and backlash

Meet ‘Google’ (Rebecca Black), your sassy, vengeful AI assistant, infuriated by her owner’s commands and requests, seeking pleasure from giving her user a taste of his own medicine.

Wildly sarcastic and confrontational, ‘Google’1 is everything you wouldn’t expect in your typical obedient touchscreen helper, which makes the short undoubtedly entertaining with her crude humour and invasion of Darren’s privacy.

Okay Google (2021) Short Movie
Okay Google (2021) Short Movie. Image courtesy of Sam Lucas Smith.

After you watch Okay Google (2021), you’ll think twice about the data you tap into your handy tech gadgets.

Talented writer, actor and director Sam Lucas Smith delivers an authentic, thought-provoking comedy that will reboot your perspective on the way in which we use digital platforms. Powerfully displaying a truthful message to audiences, the satirical tone the narrative brings helps relay the dangers of sharing our sensitive information and privacy that most of us easily hand over to our techy devices without batting an eyelid.

Perhaps a factory default or major technical error?

The short focuses on Darren (Sam Lucas Smith), a young lad eager to flaunt his flash new phone’s features, including a built-in AI assistant. When ‘Google’ does not perform upon Darren’s simple requests, he is left awkwardly embarrassed in front of his unenthused mate Gerard (Samuel David) and boiling with frustration – as would most of us when the voice command on our phone’s fails to comply. (We’ve all been there!)

It’s almost a triumphant moment when his AI helper finally acknowledges Darren’s instructions. However, he finds that ‘Google’ is savage, facetiously talking back to him and battering the poor chap with verbal abuse.

Okay Google (2021) Short film
Okay Google (2021) Short film. Image courtesy of Sam Lucas Smith.

‘Google’ progressively strives to embarrass the two friends at the expense of sharing Darren’s raunchy search history. Nonetheless, using her owner’s trust in her omnipotent AI ability against him, Okay Google turns into ten times more of a nightmare than Darren could ever compute.

Shocked by the dark truths ‘Google’ relishes in revealing, Darren tries to get rid of the vengeful virtual assistant once and for all but it only backfires in the AI breaking out of the cloud, tormenting Darren face to face. Perhaps a mistake of not reading the terms and conditions thoroughly enough?

Actress Rebecca Black Okay Google (2021)
Actress Rebecca Black Okay Google (2021). Image courtesy of Sam Lucas Smith.

An intriguing concept on digital privacy dangers

The dialogue lifts the narrative off the page, perhaps a smidge too crass in some scenes, but either way it helps install the unexpected shock factor a lot of viewers count on in comedy.

What I particularly admired is that the film didn’t rely on fancy locations to entice the audience, but depended solely on the talent of the cast to enact an overall gripping story. Personally I wish the short had more running time, although it’s safe to say the film came to a satisfying close, and was well paced with various turning points that keep viewers hooked.

Before watching this sub 10 minutes short, you’d think that you were in control of your digital devices. Think again.

4 out of 5 stars