Sundance 2010 Review: BURIED - So Far My Favorite Movie of 2010
Directed by: Rodrigo Cortes
Starring: Ryan Reynolds
After his convoy is attacked by a group of insurgents, Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds), a U.S. citizen working as a contract driver in Iraq, awakens to find himself buried alive inside a coffin. His captors have given him nothing but a lighter and a cell phone, which he must use to find some way of meeting their five-million-dollar ransom demand. Faced with limited oxygen and unlimited panic, Paul finds himself in a tension-filled race against time to escape this claustrophobic deathtrap before it’s too late.
This was the one film I was most excited to see while I was up at the Sundance Film Festival. The film is a one man show that takes place in one isolated location... a coffin. The story never leaves the coffin, and for 93 minutes this film captivated me, it held my attention from the very beginning to the very end. The story was incredibly intense. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. You think Tom Hanks did a great job holding a full movie on his own in Cast Away, wait till you get a load of this. The story is full of emotional twists and turns: anguish, panic, desperation, terror, hope, violence, suffering sadness, pain, fatigue, and even some comedy.
For as simple as this movie seems, it was a absolutely fantastic film. It had the influence of the great Alfred Hitchcock written all over it! From the opening title sequence, to the suspense, to the music, to the use of the camera -- which was used brilliantly. I loved how the camera was used in this film to tell this story. The director of the film admits that Hitchcock was the teacher of this production, and uses films such as Lifeboat and Rope as examples of inspiration.
One of the main rules they stuck with in creating this story is that they never leave the coffin, they never move the story to the surface. This allows for the audience to connect with Reynolds’ character and experience the powerful desperation that he was feeling. The only people he has to rely on are the people above that we never see. We have no idea what it is they are doing, we know only what the character knows, and like that character we have to put our trust in those people above that they are doing everything they can to help him. The director explains it best when he says the character “has no choice but to trust in the purely abstract, in the people out there who might be good or bad, who might be fat or thin, who might be who they say they are... but then again who might just not be - the voices which are ultimately nothing more than the electronic impulses sent out by a cold, anonymous satellite far away. The only reality the character knows for sure is the angst of his reduced, rectangular universe, the menacing darkness which surrounds him and this connection with an unknown outside world, a red hot nail he has no choice but to desperately hang onto.”
In my opinion, Reynold’s has given the best performance of his career in Buried, one that I would like to see earn him a well deserved Oscar nomination. He held our attention through the full movie, he never wavered or slacked off. He gave this film everything he had, and it shows in his performance. You felt every emotion that his character was going through.
As for the director of the film, Rodrigo Cortes, I can’t wait to see what he ends up doing next. This guy has a great talent for film direction. I absolutely loved what he did with this movie and how he pulled off this story.
I know that 2010 has just started but as it stands right now, Buried is the best movie I’ve seen this year so far. The movie was awesome and when it comes out I highly recommend that you see it, I have no doubt that you will love this movie.