Gamer ★★½

Is this real? Did I really watch a movie about a Quake gamer who wants to compete on the national stage and goes to the world finals before succumbing to the mundanity of everyday life while confronted with happy moments from his youth that make him question if the small joy he feels from winning Quake tournaments is real or not before ultimately just getting drunk and throwing his mouse and mousepad into a lake? Is there really a film that manages to confuse the run of time in a perhaps self-referential way to suggest that the time we spend playing video games feels distorted from reality and the only way to break this cycle of ellipsing time is to freeze frame on a small smile as the main character gets into bed while the theme song for a children’s program plays? What absurd reality must we live in where such a bewildering experience is manifest? Watched on MUBI