Three days in the life of fitness motivator Sylwia Zajac, a social media celebrity surrounded by loyal employees and admirers, who is really looking for true intimacy.

Influencer culture is one of those things that I can’t quite get my head round (and I’m not even that old….!), but it can be a potentially lucrative career for those individuals who successfully build a large number of followers and you can see why it appears attractive to many people. In ‘Sweat’, we follow three days in the life of one of these influencers, a fitness model called Sylwia (Magdalena Koleśnik) who posts fitness videos online to her thousands of followers, earning income from a variety of endorsement deals, photo spreads and in-person gym sessions. Everything in her life is recorded and posted online for her followers to consume and she lives a life where everything she does is filtered through the prism of how it’ll reflect on social media.

The primary theme of the film is to explore the differences between the polished public persona and the real life person beneath the façade. Outwardly Sylwia has the perfect lifestyle – earning lots of money, adored by thousands and attractive with a toned body, but inwardly we learn that the image she portrays of herself to her followers masks an unhappy individual with lots of insecurities. I think this is a really good premise and there’s a good movie to be made out of influencer culture, but for me, ‘Sweat’ isn’t it. I felt it was a movie that promised a lot more than it ended up delivering and felt some of the story developments and angles used to explore Sylwia’s life were odd and didn’t work (the stalker thread in particular). It is a shame as it has its moments, particularly a scene towards the end where Sylwia lets her guard just about drop only to pull back into her online alter ego almost as quickly. I thought that scene cleverly explored the push and pull between being yourself and being who your followers want you to be, but these moments were too few and far between.

Sweat’ is an interesting movie with a solid leading performance from Magdalena Koleśnik, but for me I felt it approached its premise in less interesting ways than I was expecting and ultimately, whilst it had its moments, it disappointed.

Rating: 3/5

Directed By: Magnus von Horn

Starring: Magdalena Kolesnik, Julian Swiezewski, Aleksandra Konieczna, Zbigniew Zamachowski and Tomasz Orpinski


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