Tuesday, September 27, 2011

1625 - Buried

The limited location thriller is almost a genre unto itself now - and if that's the case, consider this the most gutsy, and probably successful, of the bunch.  The first Saw film can probably hold claim to being one of the first really break-out successes, but others like Open Water, and Frozen are also in league but none are so cinematic given such limitations.  I found myself a bit frustrated at times, and I'll get to that, but the thing that was most impressive was simply the performance of Reynolds, how much he conveyed given such limitations - that and the sheer emotions of the storytelling.  Rodrigo Cortés directed the hell out of this film and all he had was a rectangle box and an actor - imagine what he can do with more...
Before I get too far ahead, Buried is a film about an American truck driver in Iraq, who is kidnapped for random and buried alive with little more than a cell phone and some illumination to help get him out.  The film is an intended exercise in frustration and also a comment on similar situations in the world, I'm sure.  If you like dynamic semi-political thrillers, this one might just blow you away a little.  So there's that, and now for my complaints, which will come by the way of SPOILERS BELOW...

My only real beef with this film is how it didn't given in totally to it's premise.  Sure we see the bars on the phone going down and down - but on it's last bar he's still somehow able to record two videos (one rather long one) and upload the other to another phone, not to mention make several calls.  Some battery on that phone!  And even in the end, there was never any real risk of the phone dying.  Given the harsh ending that the film has, I think that it could have very easily cut out (the phone) when he was having his final talk with his wife.  On a similar note the oxygen thing bothered me - he spent a lot of time freaking out, using the lighter, all of which would deplete the oxygen - sure he mentions it a few times, but he doesn't really suffer from it (unless you count the very ending - but I think that falls under something completely different).  I wish I could let that little shit go, but with a film like this the devil is in the details, and I think that kind of stuff could have been just a tad stronger.

Overall this was a well written, amazingly acted, and phenomenally directed film.  Highly recommend it.

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