Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Buried


  I wanted to see this movie as soon as I heard about it.
The whole concept seemed fresh and engaging to me. Would they really keep the camera inside with Reynolds the whole time? The answer is yes. Ryan Reynolds' face is pretty much the only face you will see in this movie. And you will see it incredibly close. For an hour and a half. Now, don't get me wrong, Buried is an excellent movie. A masterpiece if you will. Doing SO much with SO little is amazing.

   Precisely 3/4ths of the movie's capability to pull off what it was trying to, rests on Reynolds' performance, and he really delivered! In spades.  He had me as soon as the film started rolling. I totally bought into it. His acting was impeccable and the way the movie is crafted really draws you in. Getting you really emotionally involved with everything. The other 1/4th of the movie is the whole concept of being with this guy for almost two hours, as he's been buried alive in a wooden coffin. Its really risky not cutting off to anywhere else; not seeing the rescue effort, not seeing the people he's calling on that cellphone he has. Nobody else. Just him.

   That concept alone was wildly intriguing to me. Half because I didn't think they'd stick with it, half because I was itching for them to really do it. Something unique. I have to say, this movie, really got me into it. I was biting my nails, sitting at the edge of my seat, and taking breaks about every ten minutes to go get some snacks or something because the tension was shredding my nerves alive. It uses color shifts to give us new settings per se. The blue hue from his cell phone evokes a very distinct feeling, the orange hue from the lighter evokes another feeling, and finally so does the green from the glowstick.

   This is clever! It can take us out of one setting and place us into another setting without ever really leaving the coffin. Very cool. Finally there is a plethora of interesting problems he has to deal with, is a veritable gauntlet of life threatening obstacles he must overcome.
Which brings me to this... what I didn't realize was, with something this fundamentally unique, indie, and edgy...there is always some kind of catch. There will be a massive spoiler involved from here on out. So if you don't want to find out the ending to this movie, avoid the rest of this review.


*SPOILER ALERT*


  We spend the entire movie face to face with Reynolds' character, Paul Conroy. When he is in anguish... so are we. When he feels a lil hope so do we. When he's absolutely positive he's about to be rescued, he has so much hope right then, we're riding high at this point, at this nerve shredding climax which is a race against the clock as his coffin is filling up insanely fast with sand. Then... right when we're ready to let out that breath we've been holding and see this guy FINALLY be rescued...
his rescuers are actually nowhere near him... they were led to a different coffin somewhere far off the actual mark.

 The closing shot of the movie is Reynolds' coffin filled with sand. He's bound to suffocate within the minute... and we hear the man on his cell...

    "I'm sorry Paul... I'm so sorry."


Then the credits roll.

I sat there with my mouth open. Unable to let out that breath. I was devastated... it really did a number on me. So, if you get really emotionally involved as I do. Stay away from Buried.
I wanted to roll over and die from that ending. Seriously. I see what they were going for, defying conventions, shattering expectations, avoiding the cliche, but that ending... In a typical hollywood movie, he would've been rescued and we would've left the movie okay. Perfectly fine. Not a second thought about it. But this way... it certainly sticks with you. But it feels so harsh... a perfectly cruel mirror of reality.

Extremely well made, but not my cup of tea. Movies are escapism for me, and this just left me feeling dead inside, and, of course...trapped.

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