I’m sure when the director/writer, Ben Hozie starting filming PVT chart at
the beginning of 2018 the idea of a young man reclusively locking himself
in a flat in New York City and becoming addicted to on line chats rooms and
gambling websites must have seemed like something really unusual. Fast
forward to its release at the start of 2021 and with the world in lockdown
due to a pandemic the subject might be closer to home for some people than
Hozie could ever have imagined.
Gritty and about as close to the bone in terms of sexual content as you’re
likely to see in a mainstream film PVT Chat follows Jack (Peter Vack) a
young New Yorker who resides alone in apartment. His main source of
entertainment is engaging with various web cam girls, his favourite being a
dominatrix who goes by the name of Scarlet (Julie Fox).
As the pair interact they start to reveal more of their own personal
feelings, we find out via the pair numerous conversation, most of which
involve Jack masturbating and putting out cigarettes on his tongue, that
Scarlet is a keen amateur painter who stays in San Francisco.
His obsession reaches boiling point when he sees someone who resembles her
in a New York street and during a chat comes to an agreement that if he can
find her the pair will fly to Paris together.
PVT chat is a harrowing portrait of loneliness and, due in no small part to
a riveting performance from Vack, it’s easy to see why Jack ends up in the
position that he’s in. Obnoxious and arrogant it’s little wonder that his
only friends are two deadbeats that he only meets because one of them comes
to paint his flat.
If there is one part where Hozie struggles to tell his story it’s in the
ending, or as the case may be, lack of ending. Not to give away any
spoilers but at the conclusion it does feels as if you’ve been reading a
novel and someone has torn out the last two pages.