Buried - Movie Review
Would I be giving too much away if I said that after watching Buried I definitely considered crying in the shower? Or maybe punching a wall? Or maybe punching a hole in the shower wall and then having to explain to Beth through the hole in the wall why I was crying in the shower in the first place? I don't think it's too much of a spoiler. It's just more of a fair warning. Buried is one of the most intense films I have seen, and it takes place entirely within a 9 foot box.
This is a story of Paul, who has found himself buried alive in a coffin in Iraq. All he has at his disposal is a cell phone, a lighter (which I personally wouldn't have used so much in an oxygen limited environment) and a surprising amount of deadly snakes. This is certainly a "what would you do" situation, and frankly Paul makes the most of it. He calls the FBI, his wife, his work (to even call in the day off), but somehow he still has to go the extra mile, and a few miles after that, and then get called back to be told he has quite a few miles left to go.
Buried knows exactly where you as a viewer would take it, and then takes it further than you would expect. That is to say, this is a smart thriller. I have seen films that multiply the set-pieces by two dozen and still feel less intense, yet Buried makes it work. You might expect an "O. Henry" ending, as I did, but the one you find might be even more ironic than you would expect. In a better world Ryan Reynolds would be nominated for an Oscar for this. This is the kind of role some actors would dream for, and Reynolds plays it perfectly.
I admire films like Buried, which use their limitations in setting and content to intensify the drama of the situation at hand. It takes a great deal of creativity and ingenuity to make something like this simultaneously exciting and different, but it works. This is a very intense, and extremely involving film. Whether or not you're happy by the end doesn't negotiate your engagement in the journey.