Sunday, 10 October 2010

Film Review: BURIED (2010)

Director: Rodrigo Cortés
Running time: 95 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 15

UK Release date: 29th September 2010

Watched at the cinema Saturday 9th October 2010.


I first became aware of this film when it played at the Sundance festival. It was flagged by the critics as one of the standout films of that event. Since then I have been intrigued to see what all the fuss was about. I wasn’t disappointed; it is a very innovative and daring film with a great performance from Ryan Reynolds. But more of my thoughts later, first, here’s a very short synopsis.

I must first say that the opening credits are really well done. I love the, almost, sixties vibe, it made me feel like I was just about to watch an old Hitchcock movie. We open with darkness and breathing as Paul Conroy wakes up to find himself in a box. He fumbles around and finds a Zippo lighter. He lights it and the audience gets the first glimpse of the claustrophobic environment in which he is trapped. He is a truck driver working for a company delivering medical supplies in Iraq in 2005 whose convoy was ambushed by insurgents. Finding a mobile phone (or cell phone for my American friends) he makes a series of phone calls in an attempt to find someone who can help him. He tries to contact his wife, his mother, the FBI, the State Department and his employer, amongst others. Eventually he is put in contact with Dan Brenner who is part of a team set up to help find kidnap victims. He is also contacted by his kidnappers who make demands, threaten his family and generally add to the tension of what is a desperate situation for Paul. Will he be found in time? Is there a way out of this seemingly impossible situation? Well, as you’ve probably guessed, I’m not going to tell you. I’m sure you wouldn’t thank me if I did.

The entire film is set inside the box, or coffin, as it is referred to in the dialogue. This makes for a very claustrophobic experience so I definitely wouldn’t recommend this film for those who are uncomfortable in enclosed spaces. It does have a very dramatic effect on the audience though, you are slowly drawn into the events on screen and there is no escape. I found it a very enthralling film and one that will stay in my memory for some time to come. As I said at the beginning, it is a really great performance from Ryan Reynolds; he takes us through a whole range of emotions, and does it very well! I should also give honourable mentions to the voice talents of; José Luis García Pérez as Jabir, Robert Paterson as Dan Brenner, Stephen Tobolowsky as Alan Davenport and Samantha Mathis as Linda Conroy.

When I saw this film there were not very many people in the theatre but I could tell all of them were enthralled by it. The teenage daughter of a family to my right was clearly moved by the events on screen. Over all, I found it a very innovative and thought-provoking film with a great performance from Ryan Reynolds, who has gone up in my estimation. Also great direction from Rodrigo Cortés who kept the audience gripped throughout. So, for those who don’t suffer too badly from claustrophobia, very much recommended, otherwise, I’d probably steer clear.

My score: 7.9/10

IMDb Site:
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