Director: Rodrigo Cortes
Writer: Chris Sparling
So this is a really interesting movie. Personally I am always really fascinated and impressed when a film can maintain a feature run time with one a couple characters in a setting. I know that plays do this all the time but when it is done and made cinematic and is still interesting I am impressed. Buried does this with only one person on screen during the entire run time and not only that he is stuck in a small space and can barely move anywhere at all. The entire thing rests on the shoulders of Ryan Reynolds as he is the sole on screen presence or 90 minutes.
Actually I shouldn’t say that because director Rodrigo Cortes deserves a lot of the credit as well. Cortes keeps things intense and interesting for the entire runtime with different types of lighting and keeping the impossible camera angles interesting. What could easily have been static and boring given the main characters predicament is kept lively and interesting because of the dynamic directing.
The setup of the story is Reynolds plays Paul Conroy, US truck driver in Iraq, who was kidnapped and buried alive in a coffin with just a lighter and a cell phone. He is being held for ransom and if it is not paid he will stay in the ground. The duration of the film is him trying to figure out a way to escape/be rescued. A mystery also forms through the phone calls and conversations with people he has piling on the suspense and ends with one of the bleakest endings I have seen in an American movie in a while.
As if I haven’t given enough already at the beginning the twist of this is that he doesn’t get out of the coffin (hence the only person ever seen on screen). There are other elements on top of this already dark ending that make it even worse but it becomes increasingly clear throughout the film that there are more powers working against him than he had previously thought.
I felt Reynolds was good enough in the lead role, a bit of a departure from the typical goofy romantic lead we are used to seeing him as but still believable. I definitely felt my heart pounding in the last moments as the twists started to unfold.
While not a movie I would watch again anytime soon I definitely admire it. Going in I was unsure how they could possible keep this interesting for 90 minutes but I found that the time flew by. The script gets into it quickly and the pace is maintained the whole time. Worth checking out.