Sunday, October 10, 2010

"Buried" - Rodrigo Cortés

I have much respect for Alfred Hitchcock. The man was an innovator and cinematic genius. So much of him still lives and is regurgitated and emulated in films it’s absurd. There are many people who have tried to do what he has done and in my opinion they all fall severely short.

I saw the film “Buried” with Ryan Reynolds last night. I loved it. I had a little bit of a rough time watching 80 minutes of a movie with someone in a box, but that’s because I’m claustrophobic. I’m sure I upset my neighbors as I writhed and wiggled trying to get comfortable, but I found myself unable to look away from the screen. I was mesmerized.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with “Buried,” it’s a film about a truck driver who is kidnapped, buried in a coffin with a cell phone and a lighter and given two hours to get the money for his ransom, or he will be left to die. That was a horrible sentence I just wrote. But anyways… the premise might seem basic enough, or even seem like some other films you’ve seen before.

Here’s where it differs. Your main character is in a coffin. Probably 1x2x.75meters. And this is where your film takes place. How do you make this interesting for 80 minutes? What about lighting? Changing camera angles? How would you even get a camera in there? The filmmaker rocked in all of these categories. At no point was I bored. In fact, I spent the movie angry, frustrated, exhausted and helpless. The full gamut of emotions felt by the lead actor of this film.

As an aspiring filmmaker I paid close attention to how the shots are worked. How to get in that close to your subject and not make the shots boring or feel repeated as time goes on. I felt this was actually one of the strongest points of the movie (followed closely by Reynolds performance). And the extremely clever uses of lighting used in the film add to the tension. I kept getting a small smirk every time a new color was used in the scene and how there was a completely realistic reason for it. Anyways, moving on.

Ryan Reynolds. I really like this guy. And I think it’s really smart to use a comedic actor in this kind of role. Yes, a dramatic actor could do the job fine. But Reynolds attacks it and makes the timing his own. He delivery of some of the lines serve to break up the tension so that it stays bearable for the audience. If it hadn’t been for this, I don’t think I could have made it through the film. Please also note, that if I seem vague it’s because I feel important you just experience the film knowing as little as possible. More of this may make sense after you’ve seen the film.

Why did I mention Alfred Hitchcock? Watch the movie… specifically the opening credits. Nothing says “I want to be the next Hitchcock” by doing an homage to his opening credits (sequences like the one at the opening of Vertigo were created by Saul Bass.), and with that I really believe he set out to make the next Hitchcockian film (I didn’t coin that term.). Did he succeed? In some places, I believe he succeeded really well. Was it as good as a Hitchcock film? No. but it’s probably the closest I’ve ever seen someone come to really appealing to me in the way Alfred Hitchcock’s films did.

Ok. Now I just noticed something weird about the characters names… I’m wondering if they were named after characters from Hitchcock’s films…
Paul Conroy
Dan Brenner
Mark White
Alan Davenport
Linda Conroy

Wow talk about a bust. For some reason I thought there was some tie to the characters in buried and the names of those in several Hitchcock films. I was very wrong… considering the only character who’s name was even close to that of one I found in a Hitchcock film was a character named Brenner in “The Birds. (1963)”

Anyways, I think it’s a great film. But I know a lot of people will be angry and upset. Boohoo get over it :p or if you really don’t like it. Leave a comment and tell me why. Please say something more than “it was so dumb. What a waste of my time.” Elaborate please. ☺

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