Alfred Hitchcock is rolling in his grave. To get into a position that's comfortable for him to applaud.
This is one of those movies that really has me thinking if I liked it or not. Certainly without much review, I can say that Buried is easily one of the most creative, thrilling, heart-stopping movies I have seen since Inception, but the end to this movie left me feeling somewhat unsatisfied.
Buried is basically 90 minutes of Ryan Reynolds in a box. Contractor Paul Conroy wakes up to find himself buried in a small box with only a cellphone and a lighter. As the movie progresses Conroy and the audience begin to piece together how he ended up in the box and why.
The biggest strength this movie has that completely blows me away is that this movie is literally 90 minutes of Ryan Reynolds in a box. Through the whole movie we are with Ryan Reynolds inside this small confined space. How Buried differs from Phone Booth is that in this movie, we never go anywhere else, no flashbacks, no outside scenes. Just one actor, one location and 90 minutes of the best and most ingenious stops indie filmmaking has to offer.
And if you can't appreciate the unbearable claustrophobia Buried puts you through, you have to applaud director Rodrigo Cortes for pulling of one of the most suspenseful, creative, thrilling films ever to take place in one location. And keep in mind that location is a box smaller than a cupboard.
But Buried is far from a perfect movie, what made this an amazing movie and not a masterclass one was the writing of the film. The plot of the film is incredibly compact, weaving narrative with breakneck suspense but there were times where the film became implausible. And it wasn't big or anything, they were just small 2-3 minute scenes or phone conversations that were unrealistic and took the audience out of the film for a couple of minutes. I wish I could say what those parts are but it's major spoilers.
Given the conditions Ryan Reynolds had to work in, I'd say his acting was fantastic but I was left underwhelmed with his overall performance. There is only so much weezing and screaming I can take from The Green Lantern. Again, very minor complains that did hinder the film somewhat but weren't big faux pas.
But what was unsatisfactory was the ending of this film. To be honest, when Buried ended, I was kind of pissed. Without revealing too much, the ending of this film is going to leave people feeling very unsatisfied or maybe depressed. You just don't put people through such emotional strain and attach us so much to Ryan Reynold's character to have it end like that. People want to have their trauma rewarded. But I gotta say, if you compared that ending with everyone's ideal ending, this is the one that will stick with people.
But with all those small complaints aside, this is a movie I am going to remember for a long, long time. Buried goes against all rules of filmmaking, backed by a visionary young director, a daring actor and a zero budget to produce one of the finest films to come out of 2010. Hitchcock would have been proud. Very proud.