Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Claustrophobic? You Have No Idea....

Have you ever spent 95 minutes trapped in a coffin, underground with only a lighter and a cell phone at your aid? "A cell phone? That's handy... Could just call for help can't ya?" That's what I thought. But what happens when help is useless? When your kidnapper keeps interfering? When air is running out? You end up with suspense. Brilliant suspense that will keep you hanging on every word. It's Buried ladies and gents.

It's not the most original of premises nor is it the most complicated plot but boy does it work. Paul Conroy (Ryan Reynolds) is an American contractor working in Iraq. When his truck convoy gets ambushed by kids with stones and a group of Iraqis he gets kidnapped and wakes up in a coffin. The coffin is buried somewhere in a desert in Iraq and isn't much bigger than 7 foot by 4 foot. But it's not all bad. The kidnappers were nice and provided a lighter, a telephone, some glow sticks, a knife and a bit of alcohol. Nice chaps. All they ask in return is £5 million ransom money. Cue lots of phone calls and flicking light.

Hunger was a major issue in the coffin.

Ryan Reynolds, being really the only physical actor in the entire film, throws in a groundbreaking turn. His performance is gripping and believable. Imagine how you'd react when trapped in a box; Reynolds does it. Everything from wild lashing out to erm... Wild lashing out. Seriously though, he creates a believable character and you won't want to look away, and when the whole film is set in a small box, that's an impressive feat.

There is no soundtrack in true suspense style and it's difficult to throw in fancy cinematography when the camera has to stay within the limits of the box. (Though the last shot is top class.) The direction is pure awesome thanks to Rodrigo Cortés. You may think there isn't much to do with a man in a box but there is. The main thing? Timing. When the phone goes off, when the lighter goes out. These sort of things make movies brilliant. Alfred Hitchcock was king of it and I'm sure he would have been proud of Buried.

Ryan's contortionist act was progressing brilliantly

This movie is well worth a watch. Reynolds is great, the suspense is super and the dialogue will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. Perhaps avoid if claustrophobic.

Best bit? The bit in the coffin. That was wicked. I jest. Hmmm tricky one. I'll say the introduction. We're introduced into this situation and Reynolds reacts just as you or I would.

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