The movie “Share” shows its audience the power viral videos can have, but more importantly, it shows, in a heartbreaking way, an unfortunate reality women have suffered or could suffer.

Mandy, played by Rhianne Barreto, is an average high school student who wakes up one morning on her front lawn after a night of partying.

At first, she seems only mildly troubled and chalks it up to drinking too much. However, she soon discovers bruises on her back and arms that she does not remember getting. Life only gets harder for Mandy after this.

After school, she constantly gets texts from friends and classmates asking if she is okay and if she has seen the video, which she does eventually see. Even for a scripted movie, it is quite unsettling to watch a 16-year-old see herself passed out on the floor surrounded by a group of boys grabbing at her and laughing. Unfortunately for Mandy, neither she nor detectives could see who was grabbing or recording her.

Barreto does an amazing job portraying an emotionally detached teenager who simply does not know what do after seeing such a video. Unfortunately, the rest of the movie tends to focus mostly on the investigation rather than Mandy.

After her friends and other students who were at the party are suspended from school and the basketball team, Mandy quickly becomes the most hated person at school. This leads to her taking classes at home and a fight between her dad, Mickey (J.C. MacKenzie), and another man, Tony (Danny Mastrogiorgio). The fight gives the audience insight as to how an angry father trying to protect his abused daughter feels. The only emotion Mandy shows during this part of the movie is a few expected tears while playing video games after her class ends.

Mandy’s mother, Kerri (Poorna Jagannathan) has one of the most important lines in the movie: “I know things like this happen every minute of every day.”

Even though the movie slows down significantly after the first hour, the main point remained the same. Director Pippa Bianco did an excellent job in her debut film of reminding the audience that this is something very real and does happen to many women and young women everywhere.

Despite Bianco reminding the audience of the meaning of the movie, it is important to know that the movie was not a warning against underage drinking and drug use. At several points in the movie, Mandy apologizes to her parents for drinking and partying, but is reminded that it is okay, and it doesn’t give the boys the right to abuse her.

The end of the movie takes a somewhat strange turn, because the audience has no idea what Mandy is feeling or thinking due to the heavy focus on the investigation of the assault. Although there are bland and uninteresting portions of the movie due to the size of the problem at hand, it keeps the audience emotionally invested.

“Share” premiered July 27 and is available to stream on HBO Now and HBO GO, and it is rated TV-MA.

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