Director(s): Rodrigo Cortes
Writer(s): Chris Sparling
Cast: Ryan Reynolds
Reviewed by: Christine Lambert on
Release Date(s)Oct 8, 2010 - Wide
The new film Buried taps into a few phobias — claustrophobia, the fear of being buried alive and the fear of dying. If you have any or all of these fears, you may want to take anti-anxiety medication before seeing this film. But even the toughest person will find watching Buried an angst-ridden look into one man’s desperation to stay alive.
Ryan Reynolds plays Paul Conroy, a truck driver on a contract job in Iraq. When his convoy gets ambushed, he is taken hostage and buried alive in a wooden box with a few tools he uses to help him try to get out; among them a cellphone, a pencil and a lighter.
Throughout the film, we witness Reynolds experiencing a myriad of emotions like anger, desperation, and sadness. At every turn his feelings are palpable to the viewers. Interestingly, the movie is not just about one man trying to escape a wooden box buried in the ground, but the running question of worth also plays a huge part in this story. Reynolds is faced with that question throughout his time and he also questions the people who have his life in their hands.
More than likely, the average viewer will expect to see flashbacks explaining the story and history of the main character or to see the people who are on the other side of the phone with Reynolds. Those people will be surprised to find out that the whole movie is focused on Reynolds inside the box and any conversation we hear is as Reynolds hears it. Much credit has to go to the director, Rodrigo Cortés, whose vision is clear, stark, and engrossing. The fact that every scene takes place inside the box, but is still an interesting, if not suspenseful and heartbreaking view shows the talents of Cortés not only as a director, but as an editor as well since he also took on that role. Kudos go out to Chris Sparling, whose script, as mentioned earlier, makes the viewer question their self-worth as well as the everyday things we may take for granted. This film is not just about how a guy can escape a wooden box, but how he takes a deeper journey into self-discovery.
Without a doubt, this film could not be as successful in its execution without the talents of Ryan Reynolds. Reynolds takes on the enormous task of having a feature-length film riding on him and him alone. Throughout the film we feel his frustration, pain, anger, woe and desperation. Through his conversations we are informed of why he is there without hitting the viewer over the head with explanations. It is through these conversations that Reynolds shows once again the range of his talents.
Buried is many things: an interesting film? Check. An engrossing film? Check. A film that will linger with you long after you have left the theatre and will make you question humanity and your own self-worth? One great big check.