If this doesn't remain in my top five come year-end I will be shocked. Who thought that a movie can not only sustain a full 90mins stuck within the confines of a coffin (and believe me, it doesn't leave the coffin) but that it would be one of the most cinematic and audacious pieces of cinema I've seen in a good few years? Like this year's Inception and Toy Story 3, movies like Buried are the reason I love cinema. It is escapism at it's best, ironic considering the setting. Who thought Ryan Reynolds, Van Wilder: Party Liaison himself could be so utterly mesmerising in such a challenging role? The movie is literally his. Sure, there are those he speaks to over the phone (he's buried with a Zippo and a Blackberry) but for the film's length, he is the only physical presence on screen. He goes through every emotion possible: fear, panic, anger, sadness, happiness, depression, acceptance, and all of it played so convincingly that you almost wonder whether they genuinely buried the actor and left a camera in there with him.
There are minor gripes, all predominantly found in the first half. It feels somewhat episodic at times and there's a lack of any real tension during the first forty minutes but this is a pressure cooker of a film and the last half is unrelenting to the point of nausea, culminating in a truly great finale that caused me to shout-out in the quiet, near empty cinema.
Buried is extraordinary. The only performance to beat Reynolds' in recent years is Sam Rockwell's stunning turn in Moon. High concept thrillers like this rise or fall on the delivery of their challenging set ups. Fortunately, Buried works.
It really, really works.
Drama / Mystery
Drama / Mystery
Waking groggy in pitch darkness, Paul Conroy, an American truck driver working in Iraq in 2006, slowly realizes he is trapped inside a wooden coffin, buried alive. With his cigarette lighter, he can see the trap he is in, and he quickly realizes that there's not enough air for him to live long. He finds within the coffin a working cellphone, which allows him contact with the outside world. But the outside world proves not to be very helpful at finding a man buried in a box in the middle of the Iraqi desert. Paul must rely on his best resource--himself.
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September 17, 2012 at 3:39 am