Saturday, 19 February 2011

Buried [Review]

Well, there's only so much you can say about this film focusing for an hour and a half on a man in a box. No wait, what am I talking about? There's everything you can say! This previous conception of the feature may have put a lot of people off, but the amount of tension, focus and detail Buried has makes it a fantastic thriller. Along with this, the acting from Reynolds is spot on bringing all the elements to a very high standard.

Minimalist is the first word that comes to mind, but actually, the impact this film has makes the pleasure of viewing it so opposite to the word that you find yourself breathless (excuse the pun). Yes, the film is confined to a wooden coffin, a lighter, torch and mobile phone, but these apparatuses make for some damn exciting action.

I want to call this an action film, which is ridiculous because the most amount of action we see is him shuffling from one end of the box to the other. But this is exactly it; the way Rodriogo Cortes has gone about creating huge anxiety through little exertion makes it such an intriguing watch. We're taken through the film from phone call to phone call, feeling every moment of stress and frustration. You're wrapped up in this world trying to decipher why he's in the box, who's put him there, what's going to happen next. All these questions start building and building right from the get go, meaning we have no other choice than to sit on the edge of our seats, waiting for a long awaited answer. It's this waiting that holds the film together. But it's not drawn out in the slightest - Everything that's been put into this movie is a necessity.

Saying that, to film this must have been quite a challenge. The amount of takes, scenes reshot and editing to bring this up to scratch with a mainstream audience's tastes makes it somewhat of a masterpiece for filmmaking. You're given the confines of a rectangular shape yet making such lasting impression on the audience. The use of music, lighting, close up shots, interesting pans and raw definite elements makes this a treat for the eyes... Besides the whole pain element, but we'll block that out of our memories for now.

Speaking of pain, the amount of emotion that's gone into the creation of this claustrophobic movie means we feel everything Paul (Ryan Reynolds) does. Who would have thought the player from  Two Guys, A Girl and A Pizza Place could have brought to the audience this desperate character in need of something to help him so painfully that you want to jump out of your seat and into the setting to save him?

What's also nice is that he's not glamourised. If you take him in, say, The Amityville Horror, there is clear fetishism of his body. But in this he's sweating, bleeding, crying and yelling truthfully as if he were actually buried. There's still a little part of me that believes he was and it was all a tormenting game the director played - That's how believable his performance is. But, I'm also not stupid and realise this is fiction (I hope...).

To call this exciting lets the film down. You need to go into the film expecting nothing and receiving everything (which is hard to do after that statement, I realise). You'll either truly be astonished or be completely baffled at the concept. I do hope it's the former, otherwise this review will have been wasted on you.

4 stars


  1. This film is expertly cruel. You're right about the pain, particularly the end.

  2. 'but the amount of tension, focus and detail Buried has makes it a fantastic thriller'

    Totally agree with almost everything you've said. I'm glad to read a review that doesn't mention the word 'boring' because if you give it a chance its so good. And its amazing what you can do within that little space.