Friday, March 18, 2011

One Man Show

Director: Rodrigo Cortes
Cast: Ryan Reynolds
Released: September 24, 2010

There aren't many films I can think of where the entire movie is shot in one single location and has only one actor. Actually, I can't think of any movie like that. During the one and a half hour duration of Buried, you are with Reynold's character, Paul, an American working in Iraq as a truck driver delivering supplies who wakes to find himself in a wooden coffin buried underground. While we do get different angles and shots, the camera never leaves the coffin. I thought maybe we would be taken out of the claustrophobic location to show flashbacks of how he ended up buried in a coffin, but no, that is all explained by Paul narrating what happened to him. 

One would think that a film with only one actor in only one location would get a little boring, but that would be the last word I would use to describe this thriller. It's suspenseful, nail-biting, and suffocating. Paul only has a few items his kidnapper has supplied him with: a lighter, a cell phone, a small knife, and a glow stick. While Reynolds is physically the only actor in the movie, he does have conversations with other characters when he uses the cell, but we never see them, just hear their voices. 

And yes, I'm just as surprised as you are that he was able to communicate with people via a cell phone when he was underground. The movie does address this and one of the FBI agents who's trying to locate him mentions he must not be that far underground for the cell to be able to work, so okay, I guess we'll go with it. I don't really mind that this might be implausible because if he wasn't able to communicate with other people, the movie probably would be considered boring. I do find it pretty amazing that the cell was less than half charged and never ran out of battery power the duration he was down there. 

Since he's lost the contact emergency number he was given from his company, he frantically starts making calls to anybody who might be able to help him: 911, the FBI, his wife, his company...he even gets in contact with the terrorist who demands five million dollars for his release. (His kidnapper was kind enough to leave him his number).

Even though the space was (obviously) very confined, he surprisingly has a lot of room for being in a coffin. In the photo posted above you can clearly see he is laying on his stomach. He is easily able to take off his jacket without too much of a struggle and even is able to rotate from one end of the coffin to the other. Now it's been awhile since I've seen Kill Bill 2, but I remember when Uma Thurman was in the coffin, she could only move her arms to punch her way out (uh, hope I didn't spoil that for anyone!)

I will give the film props for keeping me guessing. I really had no idea if he was going to be rescued or not by the end. There were times when things were looking hopeful, only to be diminished by bad news and there were times when you didn't think he had a chance of getting out, but then there was a glimmer of hope. If you have not seen this film yet, I would advise you not to be spoiled before watching it because knowing if lives or dies will probably ruin the viewing experience (and the suspense!) for you.

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