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Movie Review: Buried

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago

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Written 10/6/10

Directed by Rodrigo Cortes, BURIED is a film which depicts the art of unique filmmaking. Throughout the years we’ve seen a few that have stood out and a lot of course is due to visionary directors who thrive when telling a story. There’s only so much writing can do although it serves a major role when its focal point is to entice an audience, however, when editing comes into play as well as the mindset of how to visually tell a story while presenting it hand-in-hand with writing isn’t anything anyone can just do. Cortes has a clear cut vision of what it would be like for those who have fallen prey to the unfortunate event(s) of having been buried alive. It has to be the most dreadful of experiences among others anyone can ever encounter and with full-blown reports of the act actually having taken place through the years – especially during war times or perhaps a simple malicious act for the sake of ransom, some – although very little – have been able to “re-live” their encounters by detailing exactly what transpires once locked in a box and buried. There are those who have been “lucky” enough to have been buried with food, oxygen tubes and a few other tools to maintain survival, but what about those who aren’t as lucky and just hold on to one thing – hope! What that may be for the person we’ll never know, but what we do know is that mankind’s evil intentions can forgo beyond anyone’s comprehension. Whether “justifiable” or not, human-beings are only conditioned to tolerate a certain amount of mental, physical and emotional mistreatment, but when digging deep into our darkest mindset, history has proven just how low we can sink and no matter how we cut it, it happens to be a part of life which is accepted to a certain degree – some have a license for it, some don’t – but whether it is Water-boarding, Electric-Shocking, Ripping off nails with pliers or simply knocking someone out and allowing them the unfortunate privilege of waking up and noticing they’re in a box without any knowledge of how deep, how long they’ll be in there and contemplating just how bad things can get from where they are is something no one reading this review will be able to KNOW unless you’ve gone through it, and much love and respect to Cortes for having interpreted the horrible depiction in such a clever, yet horrible way.

Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is not ready to die. But when he wakes up 6 feet underground with no idea of who put him there or why, life for the truck driver and family man instantly becomes a hellish struggle for survival. Buried with only a cell phone and a lighter, his contact with the outside world and ability to piece together clues that could help him discover his location are maddeningly limited. Poor reception, a rapidly draining battery, and a dwindling oxygen supply become his worst enemies in a tightly confined race against time - fighting panic, despair and delirium, Paul has only 90 minutes to be rescued before his worst nightmare comes true.

My verdict is two thumbs up with BURIED. Very brave direction from Cortes in an era where most directors would not have the confidence to make a movie that only relies on one location and one actor. Every angle in the story has a surprise of its own. At the end it was pretty mind-boggling that I had just watched a whole movie take place within a wooden box. It is suspenseful and entertaining and had me feel like I was stuck in that coffin too. It’s very creepy – definitely worth watching, very unique movie in every way, shape or form you can image. One can argue there might be distorted facts when buried alive – yes, that’s possible, but the sheer feeling of what it might possibly feel like is blunt. The film starts and ends in a box, but the anxiety ride personally experienced sitting there while eating Junior Mints was one I know I’ll never experience again wit` another film. I may be wrong, but BURIED left some pretty big shoes to fill. If Claustrophobia is a feeling one wants to “dabble” in, perhaps lending your existence to this film might serve a pretty good example. If Claustrophia is something you suffer from and can’t fathom the thought, than maybe this won’t be the right kind of film for you, but it does expose counter-points on maintaining composure under tight enclosures. Overall, the film presents a different approach from everything else that’s opened throughout the year, as well as presents Ryan Reynolds in a moment of desperation which elevated his acting in a way which steered away from the usual. I can’t knock him as I thought he was pretty dark in the remake of AMITTYVILLE and great as a push over in THE PROPOSAL, but neither projects demanded a firm level of anxiety like BURIED did. Intertwining his talent along with some pretty good camera shots, editing and a dreary feeling of exhaust and submission, BURIED kicked ass! One of my favorite scenes in the film is somewhat towards the end where Paul (Ryan) transitionally accepts his situation and views what may come and as he lays there toying with his thoughts, there’s an awesome pan which pushes his image deeper and deeper teasing your thoughts of what exactly will become of the situation as a whole.

If anything, the only downfall for some may be how it could quickly be distorted and taken as a political rant in subliminal form; however, it’s still a pretty good mind-fuck if seeking something to indulge in this coming weekend!



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